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I 






THE 



AMERICAN FIRST CLASS BOOK ; 



OR, 



EXERCISES 



IN 

READING AND RECITATION: 

SELECTED PRINCIPALLY 

FROM MODERN AUTHORS 

OF 

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA; 

AND DESIGNED FOR THE USE 
OF 

THE HIGHEST CLASS 
IN PUBLICK AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS. 



\r of Attfiir.A r 



OF AMERICA f \ ~"®^««*- 

B R AR 1 ^ John pierpqnt, 

Minister of Hollis-street Church, Boston: Author of Airs pf Palestine, &^ 



r * 



HILLIARD, GRAY, LITTLE, AND WTLKINS. 

AND RICHARDSON, LORD & HOLBROOK. 



1831. 



Catholic University of America 



. a r? 



w o, * <?{ 






DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit : 

District Clerks Office. 

BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twenty-third day of June, A. D. 1823, and in 
the forty-seventh year of the independence of the United States of America, William B. 
Fo-cole, of the said District, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right 
whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following', to wi*.-— "The American First 
Class Book; or, Exercises in Reading and Recitation : selected principally from Modern 
Authors of Great Britain and America ; and designed for the use of the highest Class in 
publick and private schools. By John Pierpont, Minister of Hollis-street Church, Boston . 
Author of Airs of Palestine, &c." In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United 
States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of 
maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times 
therein mentioned :" and also to an Act, entitled, " An Act, supplementary to an Act* 
entitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts* 
and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein men- 
tioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching 
historical, and other prints." JNO. W. DAVIS, 

Clerk of the District of Massachusetts. 



3 



ft* 



14S 



LC Control Number 




tmp96 031330 



Extract from the Records of the School 
Committee of Boston. 

At a meeting of the School Committee, held July 18th, 1823, it was— Or- 
iered, That THE AMERICAN FIRST CLASS BOOK be hereafter used 
In the publick reading schools instead of Scott's Lessons. 

Attest WM. WELLS, Secretary. 



PREFACE. 



— ^©^— 



THIS book has been compiled with a special reference to the publick 
Reading and Grammar Schools of this city. It is the result of an attempt to 
supnlv the want— which has long been a subject of complaint among those 
whonr the citizens of Boston have charged with the general superintendence 
of their publick schools, as well as with those who are appointed to the im- 
mediate instruction of them— of a book of Exercises in Reading and Speaking 
better adapted, than any English compilation that has yet appeared, to the 
state of society as it is in this country ; and less obnoxious to complaint, on 
the ground of its national or political character, than it is reasonable to ex- 
pect thai any English compilation would be, among a people whose manners, 
opinions, literary institutions, and civil government, are so strictly republican 

as our own. 

But, though the immediate design of this compilation was a limited and 
local one, it'has been borne in mind, throughout the work, that the want, 
which has been a subject of complaint in this city, must have been still more 
widely felt ; especially by those, in every part of our country, who are atten- 
tive to the national, moral, and religious sentiments, contained in the books 
that are used by their children while learning to read, and while their literary 
taste, is beginning to assume something of the character which it ever after- 
wards retains. 

How far the objections, which have been made to other works of this 
sort, have been ooviated in the present selection, it is for others to determine. 
I willingly leave the decision of this question to the ultimate and only proper 
tribunal— the publick ; to whose kindness, as shown towards one of my 
efforts, in another department of literature, I am no stranger, and for which 
I should prove myself ungrateful should I not acknowledge my obligation. — T 
only hope that the kindness of the publick towards the past, may not have led 
me into presumption and carelessness in regard to the present. 

In as much, however, as this book departs, in some particulars, from most ■ 
others of the same general character, it may be expected that the author 
should assign his reasons for such deviations. These relate principally to 
the omission of some things that are usually deemed essential to a school- 
reader ; and to the arrangement of the materials of which this is made up. 

First, then, it may be urged as an objection to this, as a compilation that is 
to be used by those who are learning to read, that it consists entirely of e&- 
,£rcises in reading and speaking, to the exclusion of those rules, the knowledge 
of which is indispensable to any considerable proficiency in either, 

I have observed, however, that that part of school-books which consists of 
Brief Treatises upon Rhetorick, Rules for Reading, and Essays on Elocution, 
is, almost uniformly, little worn: — an evidence that it is little used ; in other 
words, that it is of little use. I have construed this fact into an oracular 
monition not to devote to such Rules, Treatises, or Essays, any part of the 
present, work. 

The truth probably is, that reading, like conversation, is learned from ex- 
ample rather than by rule. — No onp becomes distinguished, as a singer, by the 
most familiar knowledge of the gamut : so, no one is ever marie an accom- 
plished reader or speaker by studying rules for elocution, even though aided 



4 PREFACE. 

by a diagram. There is even less aid derived from rules in reading than * 
singing : for, musick is, in a great degree, a matter of strict science ; while 
reading, after the alphabet is learned, is altogether an art :— an art, indeed, 
which requires a quick perception, a delicate taste, a good understanding, and, 
especially, a faculty of nicely discriminating and accurately expressing the 
various shades of an author's meaning:— but, still, an art that is less capable 
than musick cf being reduced to definitive rules, or of being taught by them. 
p To become a good reader or a good speaker, the best examples of elocu- 
tion, in these respective departments, must be seen, and heard, and studied. 
The tones that express particular emotions and passions must be caught by 
the ear. The same organ must inform us what is meant by the very terms in 
which all rules must be expressed,— what is meant by a rapid or deliberate 
enunciation ; what by speaking loudly or softly, on a high or low key, with 
emphasis or in a monotony, distinctly or inc'istinctly. We may amuse our- 
selves, if we please, with laying down rules upon these matters, but, till our 
rules are illustrated by the voice and manner of a good reader, they are 
totally inoperative ; and, when thus illustrated, totally unnecessary. The 
learner imitates the example of reading which is given in explaining a rule, 
and the rule itself is forsaken and soon forgotten. 

ft seems to me that the readiest, indeed, the only good way, to teach chil- 
dren to read well, is, to give them to tire charge of instructers who are them- 
selves good readers ; — instructers, who, like teachers of musick, will not con- 
tent themselves with laying certain rules for regulating the tones, inflexions, 
and cadences of the voice before your child's eye, which can neither receive 
a sound nor give one, hut who will address his ear with living instruction, — 
with the rich and informing melody of the human voice. 

Secondly, — in regard to the arrangement of the lessons, a different course 
has been pursued from that which has been usually followed in compilations 
of this kin;!. 

By devoting fifty or more pages, in succession, to lessons of any one kind. 
whether narrative, didactick, or descriptive ; then putting together all the 
dramatick pieces; then giving, in an unbroken series, alfthe specimens Gf 
eloquence from the senate, tne pulpit, and the bar ; and then making the 
young literary pilgrim travel over many days' journey of poetry, albeit unsmit 
ten with the love of song, andundesirous of being "wedded to immortal verse" 
— we may, indeed, secure to ourselves the ci edit of methodical arrangement; 
but we shall be sure to make few friends, either among teachers or learners; — 
among masters, who are not displeased with a little variety in the.r exercises, 
or among scholars, who must have it. 

By a severe method, in the arrangement of reading lessons, the teacher is 
compelled to consult his own comfort, and to keep alive the interest of his 
scholars, by frequently skipping from one part of the book to another; the con- 
sequence of which is, either that those pieces only are read which happen to be 
favourite-, and those are so constantly read that they come ere long to be re- 
frifarsed almost by rote, and, therefore, with little thought and little impro-ve- 
,.Oi\i ; or, if the master determines that, at all events, the book shall be reso- 
lutely read through in course, the consequence is that the children soon get 
heartily tired of it, while the poor man cannot find it in his heart to blame 
them, for he is heartily tired of it himself. 

With a view to obviate this difficulty, I have studiously avoided that method 
which to some may seem indispensable to the reputation of every literary work, 
and have been governed by considerations of practical utility, in so arranging 
the following lessons that they may be read in course, and at the same time 
present that variety, in the frequent alternation of prose and poetry, and the 
constant succession of different subjects in each, which will relieve both 
learner and teacher from that sameness, which makes it an irksome task ei- 
ther to give or receive instruction. 

It v 7 ill be perceived, however, that I have not been entirely unmindful 
of method. I have endeavoured to consult the capacity of the scholar, and to 



PREFACE. 5 

provide for his gradually increasing strength, hy giving the precedence, m 
the book, to pieces that are plain and easy, and reserving, for the latter part 
of it, such as will call for a more mature judgement and a more disciplined 
taste in reading. 

It will be seen, moreover, from 1he table of contents, that the selection con- 
tain? pieces of every kind, usually found in works of this nature ; and that the 
book is not without order, so far as order has been deemed useful. 

Since the days of Addison and Pope, and even of Johnson, time, which 
shows the mutabilitv of all human affairs, has wrought a considerable change 
in the manners of the English, in the objects of scientifick attention, and in 
the character of literary labours among them. The style of their best writers, 
both of prose and verse, has undergone a corresponding change. The mis- 
cellaneous literature of the present da} 7 , however, is probably as well adapted 
to the present modes of thinking and acting, and to the present wants of so- 
ciety, as was the literature of the periodical essayists, and their contemporary 
poets, to the age of Anne : and, judging on the ground of comparative utility, 
we ought, perhaps, in severe justice, to be as reluctant to prefer the poetry, es- 
pecially, of Gay, and Pamell, and even of Pope, to that of Beattie, and Byron, 
and Campbell, as the contemporaries of Milton andDryden would, and should 
have been, to give Drayton and Spenser, and Chaucer the preference in com- 
parison with the lights of their own age. An old coin may be as pure metal, 
and intrinsically as valuable, as a new one ; and to the curious much more 
valuable ; but. for the ordinary purposes of life, it is useful no longer than it 
is current. So it is with literature — with the golden thoughts that have re- 
ceived the impress of genius. In the following work, therefore, I have drawn 
liberally from the literary treasures of our own age, not to the exclusion, 
however, of many pieces of old English poetry, especially of several from 
Shakspeare, which are common stock in works o* this kind, and over which 
time has no power. 

I have also laid under contribution the literature of our own country : and 
this I have done with the view of rendering the book an acceptable offering to 
the American people, not so much by appealing to their national pride, as by 
making it more worthy of their approbation, on account of its intrinsic^ 
merits. It is not my province to decide upon the value of those pieces which 
are drawn from European sources, compared with those of American origin, 
in respect to the proofs they furnish of a cultivated literary taste, of poetical 
genius, of a mature and manly eloquence, and of pure and lofty moral senti- 
ment. On this subject I choose rather to let the world decide for itself; and, 
that this may be the mere easily done, I have distinguished the latter from 
the_ former, in the table of contents, by giving in small capitals, the names of 
their authors, or of the books from which they were taken. These form near- 
ly one quarter of the volume. It might have deserved, and might meet, a 
more flattering reception from the publick, lia^ a still greater proportion of it 
consisted of the labours of our own authors Of tnese there are two classes, 
to whom it may be thought I owe an apo^ogv— these with whom I have takes 
liberties, and those from whom I have taken nothing. 

In regard to the latter class, it is but justice to them, and to myself, to say- 
that it has required an effort on my part to resist, ^ather than to feel and ac- 
knowledge^ the claims of many writers among us, to a share in the honour of 
having their names brought before the eye, ant their strains of eloquence or 
poetry poured upon the ear, and made familiar to the mind, of the rising gen- 
eration, But such authors — among whom are my oersonai friends men 
whom I love and venerate— will do me the justice to consider, that much that 
is excellent in itself is not well adapted to tne use of schools, and that had I 
taken all tnat is good in American literature, or even a tithe from each one of 
the authors of the present day who have done honour to their country, both 
at home and abroad, I should have swelled the b^ok to such a size as to effee^ 
tually exclude it from school-houses; and thus should have defeated, at the 
threshold, tfce leading object of the compilation. 

1 * 



6 PREFACE 

To the former class, — for the liberties which I have taken with what I now 
give forth under their name, in occasionally substituting one word for anoth- 
er, in withdrawing some passages from their original connexion, and bringing 
others into immediate contact which were originally separate, and in connect- 
ing them by a phrase or a line of my own — my answer is, first, that I have in 
no instance wantonly sacrificed or maimed the beautiful offspring of their 
imagination ; and, secondly, my reason, for the violence that in any case has 
been offered them, was my wish to crowd as many of them as I could into the 
narrow space within which I am restricted, and so to group them that they 
might do all possible good in their present service, and thus reflect all possible 
honour upon their parents. — When I have been compelled to amputate, I 
have conscientiously endeavoured to retrench only "those members of the- 
body which seemed to be more feeble," that upon the others might be bestow- 
ed the "more abundant honour." l[ I have broken off the legs and arms of 
the Farnese Hercules,.it was that I might the better display " the breadth of 
his shoulders, and the spaciousness of his chest." 

Without attempting to furnish schools with what might be denominated a 
pronouncing reader, 1 have, in many instances, indicated the proper pronun- 
ciation, either by such accents, attached to the words in the text, as are gene- 
rally understood, or, where these accents were insufficient, by a note at the 
foot of the page. This has been done only in words of which a vicious pro- 
nunciation has obtained in some parts of the country, and even these I have 
not uniformly or constantly marked ; supposing it sufficient to have called the 
attention of teachers, once or twice, to any particular word. When the pro- 
nunciation of an English word is given, it is that of Walker, In orthography, 
the same standard has been followed, with perhaps one or two deviations 
upon the authority of Johnson. 

In regard to errata, whether in respect to the real words of the author, the 
spelling, or the punctuation, it is hoped that there will be no great cause of 
complaint Tn many instances, in the lessons from Shakspeare especially, I 
have restored the genuine reading of the author, which has been corrupted in 
many other compilations. The punctuation too, which, when incorrect, so 
constantly misleads the learner, and embarrasses the learned, has been an 
ohject of assiduous care. Should any one be curious to compare particular 
pieces in this compilation, especially those from Shakspeare, with the same 
in other school-books, he will probably feel that it is but just, before con- 
demning this for diferi-ng from them, either in the reading rathe punctuation, 
to refer to some good edition of the author, for satisfaction aj to his ivords, 
and then, by a careful comparison of the different modes of pouting, to judge 
which cf them. best discovers his meaning. 

Such as r have been able to make the book, in respect to its arrangement, 
accuracy, and general character, it goes forth into the world without any let- 
ters of recommendation. The truth is, I have asked none for it. If it is a 
good book, the publick understands its own interest too well to le^it die. If 
it is not a good one, no recommendations can keep it alive. I have made it, 
in the hope that it might be an acceptable offering to schools, especially those 
of this city, in which there are many children who are the objects of my pas- 
toral care. In regard to them, and the young in general, the book will fulfil 
my hopes, if, while it helps them on towards the end of their scholastick la- 
bours—the general improvement of their minds,— it shall enable them better 
to understand and discharge their duties in life, and lead them to contemplate, 
with pleasure and religious reverence, the character of the Great Author of 
their being, as discovered in his works, his providence, and his word ; and 
thus nelp them to attain the end of their Christian faith,— the salvation of 
their souls. 

Boston, June, 1823. 



CONTENTS. 



PART FIRST. 



LESSONS IN PROSE, 



— ►►>©©©««— 



NARRATIVE PIECES, 



HISTORICAL OR FICTITIOUS. 



Lesson. 

4 The Chinese Prisoner, - 

21. Account of W. Penn's treaty with the Indians, 

22. Visit to the Falls of Missouri, 

28. No life pleasing to God that is not useful to 

man : — An Eastern Narrative, 
34. The Mice :— A fable, - 
39. Interview between Waverley and Mc. Ivorj 
47. A Morning in the Highlands of Scotland, 
50. The White Bear, 

Fortitude of the Indian character, 

The Baptism 



Pa^e. 

T. Percivat. 21 

Ed. Review. 60 

Pjid. 6 



o 

o 



93. 
94. 

95. 



Romantiek storv, 



Anecdotes of Mozart, 
140. Singular adventure, 
160. Death of old Lewis Cameron, 



Hawk es worth. 76 

Fenelon. 91 

Waverley. 96 

Bob Roy. 113 

T.Percival. 123 

Adair. 156 

Wilson. 211 

Quarterly Review. 217 

Scrap Book. 218 

Bradbury's Travels. 311 

Wilson. 35S 



19. 

20. 

40. 
59. 
64. 

135. 

J 36 
153 
156. 
159 

1W 



DESCRIPTIVE PIECES. 

Feelings excited by a long voyage, - W. Irving. 54 

Brief description of Pompey's Pillar, — Address and 

fearlessness of British sailors, - - Irioin. 58 

Egyptian Mummies, Tombs, and Manners, Belzoni. 100 

Last days of Herculaneum, - Scrap Book. 141 

Supposed Feelings of Adam, on being called into 

existence, , Buffon. 150 

Old Mortality, - - - - Tales of My Landlord. 298 
The same, concluded, ... - Ibid. 301 

Burial places near Constantinople, - - Anastisius. 337 
Destruction of Goldau, and other villages, Buckminster. 345 
A Thunder-storm among the Highlands of Scotland, Wilson. 357 
Tu Blind Preacher, Wirt. 415 



8 CONTENTS. 



DID AC TICK PIECES, 

MORAL AND RELIGIOUS. 

.Lesson. Pa«:e. 

1. A Devotional spirit recommended to the young, Cappc. 13 

S. Paterna Instruction, ... ... Law. 15 

5. The Contrast ; or Peace and War, - Atlienamm. 22 

8. Advantages of a Taste for Natural History, - Wood. 29 

9. The Pleasures of a cultivated Imagination, D. Stewart. 31 
10. The Happiness of Animals, a proof of the Divine Be- 
nevolence, ------- PaJey. 32 

13. Eternity of God, ------ Greenwood. 39 

14. The same, concluded, ----- Ibid. 41 

26. On the pleasure of acquiring Knowledge, Alison. 72 

27. On the Uses of Knowledge, - Ibid. 73 

43. The mutual relation between Sleep and Night, Paley. 109 

44. Social Worship agreeable to the best impulses 

of our nature, ----- Mrs. Barhauld. 110 
A.Q>. On the relative value of good Sense and Beauty in 

the Female Sex. - Lond. Lit. Gazette. 116 

51. The Miseries of War, - Robert Hall. 124 

53 Consideration of the excuses that are offered 

to palliate a neglect of religion, - Buck.'iinster. 129 

54. Subject continued, ----- Ibid. 131 

55. Subject concluded, ----- Ibid. 134 
58. Maternal Affection, ... - Scrap Book. 140 
62. The Seasons, - Monthly Anthology. 144 

71. Autumn, Alison. 166 

81. On the reasonableness of Christian Faith, Buckmijjster. 187 

82. On the importance of Christian Faith, - - Ibid. 100 

104. Daily Prayer. — Morning, - Chanxing. 234 

105. Daily Prayer. — Evening, - Ibid. 237 

110. On the Dangers of Moral Sentiment unaccompanied 

with Active Virtue, Alison. 240 

111. On Infidelity, A. Thompson. 249 

112. The same subject, concluded, ... Ibid. 250 

117. Charity to Orpnans, Sterne. 258 

125. On the Waste of Life, Franklin. 274 

132. On the Use and Abuse of Amusements, - - Alison. 287 

147. Thanksgiving, Crafts. 3 

161. Religion an 1 Superstition contrasted, Mrs. Carter. 362 

209. On the moral uses of the phenomena of the material 

universe, - Alison. 473 

PA THE TICK PIECES. 

15. The Son, Idle Man. 43 

16. The same, concluded, ----- Ibid. 48 

67. The Widow ?nd her Son, W. Irving. 153 

68. The same, concluded, - - - - Ibid. 161 

72. Moss Side, Wilson. 170 

73. The same, concluded, - Ibid. 174 



CONTENTS 9 

Lesson. P*g*» 

119. The Head-stone, WUsoh. 262 

164. The Prodigal Son, 375 

DRAMA TICK PIECES. 

DIALOGUES, ADDRESSES, AND SOLILOQUIES. 

11. Real virtue can love nothing but virtue ; — a Dia- 
logue: — Dionysius, Pythias, and Damon, Fenelon. 35 

25. Importance of literature ; — a Dialogue — Cadmus 

and Hercules, ..--.- Lyttleton. 68 

33. Mercury, an English Duellist, and 

an American Savage. - - Dialogues of the Dead. 88 

45. Lord Bacon and Shakspeare, Blackwood's Ed. Mag. Ill 

99. The Sultan and Mr, Hasweil, - Mrs. Inchbald. 227 

L99. Address of Brutus to the Roman populace, Shakspeare. 453 

PIECES FOR RECITATION, OR SPEAKING. 

32. Reply of Red Jacket to the Missionary, at a 

council of chiefs, 1805, - Philanthropist. 86 

78. The Slave Trade, Webster. 383 

146. Part of the letter of the British Spy, - - - Wirt. 324 
149. Conclusion of a discourse delivered at Plymouth, 

Mass. 22d Dec. 1620, - Webster. 331 

274. Reply of Roh Roy to Mr. Oshaldistone, Rob Roy. 399 

HUMOROUS PIECES. 

69. New mode of Fishing, .... Scrap Book. 142 

309. Diedrich Knickerbocker's New-England 

Farmer, W. Irving. 244 

323. Dr. Slop and Obadiah, meeting, .... Sterne. 270 
154. Thoughts on Letter-writing, Blackwood's Magazine. 339 

MISCELLANEOUS PIECES. 

6. Parallel between Pope and Dryden, - - Johnson. 24 

05. Scottish Musi ck : — its peculiarity accounted for, Bcattie. 154 

86. Night, from the Lay Preacher, - - - Dennis! 196 

87. Midnight musings, W. Irving. 199 

88. Spring, - Dennis. 202 

89. Extract from a criticism on Ossian, - Blair. 204 

97. Character of Mr. James Watt, - - - Jeffrey. 222 

98. Death and Character of Howard, ... Clarke. 225 
100. Tlie Monied Man, - - - XTew Monthly Mag. 228 
118. On the perishable nature of poetical fame, Jeffrey 260 
124. Heroick Self-denial, .... £ om /. Lit. Gaz. 272 
134. Forest Trees, ----.. \y Irving. 295 
141, The Discontented Pendulum, - - Jane Taylor. 314 
146. Letter from the British Spy, in Virginia, - Wirt! 324 
167. The Abuses of Conscience ; — a sermon, - - Sterne. 379 
16S. The same, continued, - Ibid. 381 
171. Character of JoJup-Bk^fair, - - - - Jeffrey. 391 

OF AMERICA 

£ A P v 



10 CONTENTS. 

PART SECOND. 

LESSONS IN POETRY. 



NARRATIVE PIECES. 

Lesson, Page. 

36. The House-builder, - Russian Anthology. 93 

127. Pairing-time anticipated, ----- Cowper. 278 

133. The Needless Alarm, Id. 292 

155. Ginevra, Anonymous. 343 

204. The Ass and the Nightingale, - Russian Anthology. 467 

DESCRIPTIVE PIECES. 

7. Select sentences and paragraphs from various authors, 26 

12. The Rainbow, - Baldwins Land. Magazine, 37 

18. Inscription for the Entrance into a Wood, Bryant. 53 

24. A Summer Morning, .... Thomson, t 

29. The Planetary System, - Mangnall. 81 
42. Green River, - - - - - - - Bryant. 107 

48. April Day, - Anonymous. 12.1 

61. A Winter Scene, - - - - Bryant. 143 

70. An Evening Sketch, - - Blackwood- s Magazine. 1C5 

84. The Coral Grove, .... J. G. Percival. 195 

92. A Sabbath in Scotland: — Persecution of the Scottish 

Covenanters, ------ Grahame. 209 

103. Thalaba, among the Ruins of Babylon, - Southey. 232 

106. Scene after a Summer Shower, Christian Disciple. 239 

120. Lines written in a Highland Glen, - - - Wilson. 266 

121. The Young Herdsman, - - - Wordsworth. 267 

122. The Shipwreck, Wilson. 269 

126. The Young Minstrel, Beattie. 275 

128. Fingal's Battle with the Spirit of Loda, - - Gssian. 279 

137. The Religious Cottage, - - - D. Huntington. 305 

138. The Deaf Man's Grave, - - - - Wordsworth. 306 

152. A Natural Mirror, Id'. 336 

183. Contrasts of Alpine Scenery, • Byron. 422 
202. Description of the Castle of Indolence, and its In- 
habitants, Thomson. 460 

DIDACTICK PIECES, 

MORAL AND RELIGIOUS. 

3. Select sentences and paragraphs from various authors, 18 

17. Lines to a child on his voyage, Christian Disciple. 52 

23. On Early Rising, - - Hurdis. 65 

30. Incentives to Devotion, - - - Henry K. White. 82 

31. Ode to Sickness, Anonymous. 84 

35. The Lord and the Judge, • - • Lomonosov. 

37. Hope triumphant in Death, - - - Campbell. 94 

38. Lines written during a Thunder-storm, Russian Anthology. 96 



CONTENTS. 11 

52.°Nature and Poetry favourable to Virtue.— Humility 

recommended in judging of Providence, - Beattie. 127 

76 Slavery, Cowper. 181 

77. The same object, - - - - - Montgomery. 182 

80 Son" of Rebecca, the Jewess, - - - - Icanhoe. 186 
83. " All things are of God," - - - - Moore. 194 

85. Sonnet written in a Church-yard, Blackwood s Mag. 19b 

9.0 The Dungeon Lyrical Ballads. 207 

107 Baneful influence of skeptical philosophy, Campbell. 240 

114. To a Waterfowl, Bryant. 254 

116. Thanatopsis* - J*>> 256 

120. Lines written in a Highland glen, - - - Wilson. 2bb 

121. The Young Herdsman, - - - Wordsworth. 267 
i.126. The Young Minstrel, - - ".'■'" " Beattie. 275 

142. A belief in the Superintendence of Providence, 

the only adequate Support under Affliction, Wordsworth. 317 

150. Effects of Education upon individuals : — its im- 

portance to the publick, - Id. 333 

151. An Evening in the Grave-yard, American Watchman. 335 

175. Prophecy of the Destruction of Babylon, 

Lowt/is translation of Isaiah. 401 
180. A Summer Evening Meditation, - - Mrs. Barbauld. 413 
206. Address to the Deity, - - - Russian Anthology. 469 

208. God, - - - - - - - Ibid. 475 

PA THE TICK PIECES. 

49. The Dead Lamb, Anonymous. 122 

63. Goody Blake and Harry Gill, - - Wordsworth. 146 

96. Death and Burial of a Child at Sea, - - Anonymous. 220 

108 v Affecting picture of Constancy in Love, - - Crabbe. 242 

113.** Death-scene in Gertrude of Wyoming, - Campbell. 253 

157. Lament of a Swiss Minstrel, over the Ruins of Goldau, Neal. 351 

158. Lycidas, — a monody, - Milton. 353 
172. The Winter Night, - - - - - - Burns. 396 

DRAMATICK PIECES. 

DIALOGUES, ADDRESSES, AND SOLILOQUIES. 

139. The Alderman's Funeral, - - - Sout hey. 308 

163. Scene from Percy's Masque, ... Hillhousr 370 

165. The Church-yard, —first and second voices, Karamsin. 377 

176. Lochiel's Warning, ----- Campbell. 406 

178. Extract from a dialogue between a satirick poet and 

his friend, Pope. 410 

179. Prince Edward and his keeper, - - Miss Baillie. 412 
182. Arthur, Hubert, and attendants, - - Shakspeare. 418 

Extract from " Heaven and Earth, — a Mystery," Byron. 428 

189. Hamlet and Horatio, - Shakspeare. 431 

191. Gil Bias and the Archbishop, ... f r0 m Le Sage. 436 

192. Alexander the Great and a Robber, - - Dr. Aikin. 438 
194. Soliloquy of Macbeth, - - . Shakspeare. 441 
195 Malcolm, Macduff, and Rosse, - - Ibid. 442 



12 CONTENTS. 

Lesson. ^ Pag^e. 

198. The Street-scene, between Brutus and Cassius, Shakspeare. 450 

201 The Tent-scene, between the same, - - Ibid. 457 

205 Soliloquy, on the Immortality of the Soul, Addison. 468 

PIECES FOR REGIT A TION, OR SPEAKING. 

56. Apostrophe to Mount Parnassus, ... Byron. 137 

57. Mount Chamouny, - - Coleridge. 138 
69. The American Republick, .... Byron. 164 

115. Hohenlinden, Campbell. 255 

143. Greece, in 1809, - Byron. 319 

145. Song of the Greeks, 1822, - Campbell. 323 

148. New-England, - - - - J. G. Percival. 330^ 

185. Speech of Catiline, in reply to Cicero, - - Croly. 420> 

188. Speech of Catiline, on his banishment, - - Ibid. 430 

193. Lines on the entry of the Austrians into Naples, Moore. 440 

196. The Passions ; — an ode, ----- Collins. 445 
200. Antony's Address to the Roman populace, Shakspeare. 454 
207. Battle of Fiodden Field; and Death of Marmion, Scott. 471 

HUMOROUS PIECES. 

41. Address to the Mummy in Belzoni's exhibition, 

London, - - " - - - Ncio Monthly Mag. 105 

79. Report of an adjudged case, not to be found in 

any of the books, Cowper. 185 

177. The Poet and the Alchymist, New Monthly Magazine, 408 

184. The fat Actor and the Rustick, - - Ibid. 425 

197. The Amateurs, ... Monthly Anthology. 447 

MISCELLANEOUS PIECES. 

74. The Grave Stones, James Gray. 178 

75. Stanzas written at Midnight, ----#. Moir. 180 
91. To the Rosemary, H. K. White. 208 

101. The Highlander, W. Gillespie. 230 

102. The Harvest Moon, Millar. 231 

12') Death of Carthon :— Ossian's Address to the Sun, Ossian. 281 

130. Apostrophe to the Sun, - J. G. Perceval. 283 

131. Apostrophe to the Ocean, Byron. 286 

144. The Greek Emigrant's Song, - J- G. Percival. 322 

148. New-Ena:Iand, Id- 330 

162. The Waterfall, (from the Russian Anthology,) Dcrzhavin. 366 
166. The Rich man and the Poor man, Ibid. Khemnitzer. 378 

160. Dirge of Alaric, the Visigoth, - -. - E. Everett. 388 
170. Lines on the New-Haven Burying-ground, 

Christian Disciple. 390 

173. The American Eagle, - Neal. 398 
186. Battle Hymn of the Berlin Landstrum, - • Komer. 427 
190. Extract from the Essav on Criticism, - - Pope. 433 
193. Lines on the entry of the Austrians into Naples, Anonymous. 44U 
203, Address of the Bard to the Inhabitants of the Cas- 
tle of Indolence, Thomson. 4M 



THE 



AMERICAN FIRST CLASS BOOK 



c 



^-►>*@©@4<«— 



LESSON L 

A devotional spirit recommended to the young, — Cappe. 

Devotion is a delicate and tender plant : as much as 
it is our duty and our interest to be possessed of it, it is not 
casilv acquired, neither can it be carelessly maintained. It 
must be Ions tended, diligently 'cultivated, and affectionately 
cherished, before it will have struck its roots so deep as to 
grow up and flourish in our hearts ; and ail along, till it at- 
tains to its perfect vigour and maturity in heaven, it needs 
to be defended from the adverse influences of things seea 

— * 

and temporal, of a vain imagination and an earthly mind. 

The best season for acquiring the spirit of devotion is in 
earlv life ; it is then attained with the greatest facility, and 
at that season there are peculiar motives for the cultivation 
©fit. Would vou make sure of giving unto God his right, 
and of rendering to the great Creator and Governour of the 
world the glory due unto his name, begin to do it soon : be- 
foi e the glittering vanities of life have dazzled and enslaved 
your imagination, before the sordid interests of this world 
have gotten possession of your soul, before the habits of 
ambition, or of avarice, or of voluptuousness, or of dissipa- 
tion, have enthralled you : while your minds are yet free, 
and your hearts yet tender, present them unto God. 

It will be a sacrifice superlatively acceptable unto him, and 
not less advantageous to yourselves. Beseech him that he 
will awaken in you every sentiment of piety ; beseech hb» 
that he will direct and prosper your endeavours to acquire* 

2 



14 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 1 

to keep aliv^, and to improve, the genuine spirit of devotion. 
Entreat him that he will give you to behold himself in what- 
ever else you see, and to discern his providence in all the 
events that you observe, or that you experience. Put your 
hearts into his hands, and importune him, (if importunity it 
can be called,) to lay them open unto all the blessed influ- 
ences of the discoveries he has made of himself and of his 
will, in his works, or in his ways, or in his word. Implore 
him to give you and preserve to you, the liveliest sensibility 
to all things spiritual and divine ; and while thus you ask it, 
seek for it, in the conscientious use of the appointed means 
of grace, and by every method that intelligence and pru- 
dence and experience recommend to you. 

Let it be a perpetual object with you every day, to be im- 
proving in this heavenly temper. The spirit of devotion will 
be very hard to kindle in the frozen bosom of old age, and 
not very easy to introduce through the giddy heads into the 
busy hearts of manhood or advanced youth. If you wish 
then to reach that better world, where devotion, pure and 
ardent, is one of the most striking characters of its inhabi- 
tants, and, at the same time, one of the most essential in- 
gredients in the happiness that they enjoy, you cannot be 
too early, and you cannot be too constant, in your endeav- 
ours to acquire and maintain the spirit of devotion. 

It is an acquisition well worth all that it can cost you to 
attain it : for if the genuine spirit of devotion occupies your 
heart, it will preserve you from the corruptions that are ir 
the world ; it will give you courage to be singular, when tc 
do your duty it will be necessary to be singular ; it will 
make all your duties easy, and most of them it will make 
pleasant to you; it will shed the sweetest light upon the 
pleasing scenes and incidents of life, and will diffuse its 
cheering rays even over the darkest and most gloomy. 

The pleasures that you may take will be infinitely more 
enjoyed' by you, if God, the Author of them, has possession 
^6^ your hearts ; and the pains you cannot shun will be far 
If ss grievous to you, if God, who maketh darkness and cre- 
ateth evil, be regarded by you as the wise and kind Dispen- 
ser of your lot. " Remember," then, while you are yet 
entering upon life, " remember your Creator in the days of 
your youth, before the evil day comes, and the years draw 
nigh, in which ye shall say, I have no pleasure in them." 
Those will be bad days to acquire and cultivate the spirit of 
devotion : but the spirit of devo'tion acquired and cultivated 



Lesson 2.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 15 

and confirmed before, will convert those bad days in*o good 

ones. 

If you would be happy when you die, be pious while you 
live. If you would be cheerful when you are old, be reli- 
gious while you are young. These objects you will acknowl- 
edge are well worthy your pursuit ; and to your own ecn- 
victions I appeal, that there are no other means by which 
you can attain these objects. To those who have let that 
golden opportunity slip by them ; whose youth is past, and 
the spirit of devotion not attained ; whose manhood is arriv- 
ed, and that temper not yet formed ; whose old age is come, 
and their hearts still sensual, frivolous, and vain ; I have no 
comfort to administer, for I have no authority to comfort 
you. Your best friends can only pity you and pray for you, 
that God will take away your stony hearts, and give you 
hearts of flesh. lie can do it no doubt ; will he do it ? is 
the question. Never, my young friends, never let that ques- 
tion be asked concerning you. Surely you do not envy 
their condition, concerning whom it may be justly asked. 
Take heed that you do not come into their place. 

To conclude : do not fear to admit the sentiments, and to 
cultivate the spirit of devotion ; there is nothing tedious, 
dull, or irksome in it. Ii is pleasant even as pleasure's self. 
Though I am about to adopt the language of a poet, it is 
not the language of imagination merely that I speak; what 
has been said of liberty, with some degree of truth, may, 
with the most perfect truth be said of the genuine spirit of 
devotion, it alleviates trouble and enhances pleasure, 

" It makes the o'loomv face of nature srav, 

" Gives beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day." 



LESSON II. ^ 

Paternal Inst ruction. — Law. 

Pat^rnus had but one son, whom he educated himself. 
As they were sitting together in the Harden, when the child 
was ten years old, Paternus thus addressed him: — Though 
3*011 now think yourself so happy because you have hold of 
my hand, you are in the hands, and under the tender care 
©fa much greater Father and Friend than I am, whose love 



IG THE AMERICAN [Lesson 2. 

to you is far greater than mine, and from whom you receive 
such blessings as no mortal can give. 

That God whom you see me daily worship ; whom I daily 
call upon to bless both you and me, and all mankind ; whose 
wondrous acts are recorded in those Scriptures which you 
constantly read, — that God who created the heavens and the 
earth ; who was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
whom Job blessed and praised in the greatest afflictions ; who 
delivered the Israelites out of the hands of the Egyptians ; 
who was the protector of Joseph, Moses, and Daniel ; who 
sent so many prophets into the world ; who appointed his 
Son Jesus Christ to redeem mankind : — this God, who has 
done all these great things, who has created so many mil- 
lions of men, with whom the spirits of the good will live and 
be happy for ever ; — this great God, the creator of worlds, 
of angels, and men, is your Father and Friend. 

I mvself am not half the as:e of this shady oak, under 
which we sit : many of our fathers have sat under its boughs; 
we have all of us called it ours in our turn, though it stands, 
and drops its masters, as it drops its leaves. 

You see, my son, this wide and large firmament over our 
heads, where the sun and moon, and all the stars appear in 
their turns. If you were to be carried to any of these bod- 
ies, at this vast distance from us, vou would still discover 
others as much above you, as the stars which you see here 
are above the earth. Were you to go up or down, east or 
west, north or south, you would find the same height with- 
out any top, and the same depth without any bottom. 

Yet, so great is God, that all these bodies added together 
are only as a grain of sand in his sight. But you are 
as much the care of this great God and Father of all 
worlds, and all spirits, as if he had no son but you, or there 
were no creature for him to love and protect but you alone. 
He numbers the hairs of your head, watches over you sleep- 
ing and waking, and has preserved you from a thousand 
dangers, unknown both to you and me. 

Therefore, my child, fear, and worship, and love God, 
Your eyes indeed cannot yet see him, but all things which 
you see, are so many marks of his power, and presence, and 
he is nearer to you, than any thing which you can see. 

Take him for your Lord, and Father, and Friend ; look 
up unto him as the fountain and cause of all the good which 
you have received from me, and reverence me only as the 
bearer and minister of God's good things to you. He thai 



Lesson 2.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 1? 

blessed my father before I was born, will bless you when I 
am dead. 

As you have been used to look to me in all your ac- 
tions, and have been afraid to do any thing, unless you first 
knew my will ; so let it now be a rule of your life to look 
up to God in all your actions, to do every thing in his fear, 
and to abstain from every thing which" is not according to 
his will. 

Next to this, love mankind with such tenderness and af- 
fection, as you love yourself. Think how God loves all man- 
kind, how merciful he is to them, how tender he is of them, 
how carefully he preserves them, and then strive to love the 
world as God loves it. 

Do £ood, mv sou, first of all to those who most deserve 
it, but remember to do good to all. The greatest sinners 
receive daily instances of God's goodness towards them ; he 
nourishes and preserves them, that they may repent and 
return to him ; do you therefore imitate God, and think no 
one too bad to receive your relief and kindness, when you 
see that he wants it. 

Let your dress be sober, clean, and modest ; not to set off 
the beauty of your person, but to declare the sobriety of 
your mind ; that your outward garb may resemble the in- 
ward plainness and simplicity of your heart. For it is high- 
ly reasonable that you should be one man, and appear out- 
wardly such as you are inwardly. 

In meat and drink, observe the rules of christian temper- 
ance and sobriety ; consider your body only as the servant 
and minister of your soul; and only so nourish it, as it may 
best perform an humble and obedient service. 

Love humility in all its instances ; practise it in all its 
parts ; for it is the noblest state of the soul of man : it will 
set your heart and affections right towards God, and fill you 
with whatever temper is tender and affectionate towards 
men. 

Let every day therefore be a day of humility : conde- 
scend to all the weakness and infirmities of your fellow- 
creatures ; cover their frailties ; love their excellences ; en- 
courage their virtues ; relieve their wants ; rejoice in their 
prosperity ; compassionate their distress ; receive their 
friends hi]) ; overlook their unkindness ; forgive their mal- 
ice ; be a servant of servants ; and condescend to do the 
lowest offices for the lowest of mankind. 

It seems but the other day since I received from my dear 
2* 



18 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 3 

father the same instructions which I am now leaving with 
y6u. And the God who gave me ears to hear, and a heart 
to receive, what my father enjoined on me, will, I hope, give 
you grace to love and follow the same instructions. 



SELECT SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS. 



LESSON III. 

The source of happiness . 

Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, 
Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence. 
But health consists with temperance alone, 
And peace, O Virtue ! peace is all thy own. 

An approving mind. 

What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted ? 
Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just ; 
And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, 
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. 

Sleep. 

Tir'd Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep ! 
He, like the world, his ready visits pays 
Where Fortune smiles ; the wretched he forsakes ; 
Swift on his downy pinions, flies from grief, 
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear. 

The benefit of afflictions. 

These are counsellors, 
That feelingly persuade me what I am. . 
Sweet are the uses of adversity ; y 

Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, 
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head. 

The value of time. 
Youth is not rich in time ; it may be poor : 
Part with it as with money, sparing ; pay 
No moment but in purchase of its worth ; 
And what i's worth I— ask death-beds, they can tell. 



• 



Lesson 3.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 19 

Contentment. 

While through this fleeting life's short, various day, 
An humble pilgrim here I plod my way, 
May no ambitious dreams delude my mind ; 
Impatience hence be far — and far be Pride ; 
Whate'er mv lot, on Heaven's kind care reclin'd, 
Be Piety my comfort — Faith my guide. 

The tender affections. 

Who, that bears 
A human bosom, hath not often felt, 
How dear are all those ties which bind our race 
In gentleness together ; and how sweet 
Their force; let Fortune's wayward hand, the while* 
Be kind or cruel ? 

Local attachment. 

Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms ; 
And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms : 
And, as a child, whom scaring sounds molest, 
Clings close, and closer, to the mother's breast ; 
So, the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar, 
But bind him to his native mountains more. 

Homage at the altar of Truth. 

Before thy mystick altar, heavenly Truth, 
I kneel in manhood, as I knelt in youth : 
Thus let me kneel, till this dull form decay, 
A nd life's last shade be brighten'd by thy ray : 
Then shall my soul, now lost in clouds below, 
Soar without bound, without consuming glo?-% 

The succession of human beings. 

Like leaves on trees the life of man is found, 

Kow green in youth, now with'ring on the ground ; 

Another race the following spring supplies, 

They fall successive, and successive rise : 

So generations in their course decay ; 

So Nourish these, when those have past away. 



^ 



I 20 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 8 

Time never returns. 

Mark how it snows ! how fast the valley fills, 
And the sweet groves the hoary garment wear ; 

Yet the warm sun-beams, bounding from the hills, 

Shall melt the veil away, and the young green appear. 

But, when old age has on your temples shed 
Her silver frost, there's no returning sun : 

Swift flies our summer, swift our autumn's fled, 

When youth and love and spring and golden joys are gone. 

A temple. I * nfc s .^^ - 

How reverend is the face of this tall pile, 
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads, 
To bear aloft its arch'd and pond'rous roof, 
By its own weight made steadfast and immoveable, 
Looking tranquillity ! It strikes an awe 
And terrour on my aching sight : the tombs 
And monumental caves of death look cold, 
And shoot a chilness to my trembling heart. 

A battle. 

Now, shield with shield, with helmet helmet clos'd, 
To armour armour, lance to lance oppos'd, 
Host against host the shadowy squadrons drew ; 
The sounding darts, in iron tempests, flew. 
Victors and vanquish'd join promiscuous cries, 
And shrilling shouts and dying groans arise ; 
With streaming blood the slipp'ry fields are dy'd, 
And slausrhterd heroes swell the dreadful tide. 

Family devotion. 

Lo, kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King, 

The saint, the father and the husband prays : 
Hope springs exulting on triumphant wing 

That thus they all shall meet in future days : 
There ever bask in uncreated rays, 

No more to sigh or shed the bitter tear, 
Together hymning their Creator's praise, 

In such society yet still more dear ; 
While circling Time moves round in an eternal sphere 



Lesson 4.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 21 

LESSON IV. 

The Chinese Prisoner. — Percival. 

A certain emperor of China, on his accession to the throne 
of his ancestors, commanded a general release of all those 
who were confined in prison for debt. Amongst that num- 
ber was an old man, who had fallen an early victim to ad- 
versity, and whose days of imprisonment, reckoned by the 
notches which he had cut on the door of his gloomy cell, ex- 
pressed the annual circuit of more than fifty suns. 

With trembling limbs and faltering steps, he departed from 
his mansion of sorrow : his eyes were dazzled with the splen- 
dour of the light ; and the face of nature presented to his 
riew a perfect paradise. The jail in which he had been 
imprisoned, stood at some distance from Pekm, and to that 
city he directed his course, impatient to enjoy the caresses 
of his wife, h\s children, and his friends. 

Having with difficulty found his way to the street in which 
his decent mansion had formerly stood, his heart became more 
and more elated at every step he advanced. With joy he 
proceeded, looking eagerly around ; but he observed few of 
the objects with which he had been formerly conversant. A 
magnificent edifice was erected on the site of the house 
which he had inhabited ; the dwellings of his neighbours 
had assumed a new form ; and he beheld not a single face of 
which he had the least remembrance. 

An aged beggar, who with trembling knees stood at the 
gate of a portico, from which he had been thrust by the in- 
solent domestick who guarded it, struck his attention. He 
stopped, therefore, to give him a sfftall pittance out of the 
bounty with which he had been supplied by the emperour, 
and received, in return, the sad tidings, that his wife had 
fallen a lingering sacrifice to penury and sorrow ; that his 
children were gone to seek their fortunes in distant or un- 
known climes ; and that the grave contained his nearest and 
most valuable friends. 

Overwhelmed with anguish, he hastened to the palace of 
his sovereign, into whose presence his hoary locks and 
mournful visage soon obtained admission ; and casting him- 
self at the feet of the emperour, " Great Prince," he cried, 
** send me back to that prison from which mistaken mer- 
cy has delivered me ! I have survived my family and 
friends, and evm in the midst of this populous city I find my- 
self in a dreary solitude. The cell of my dungeon pi'& 



23 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 5. 

tected me from the gazers at my wretchedness ; and whilst 
secluded from society, I was the less sensible of the loss 
of its enjoyments. I am now tortured with the view of 
pleasure in which I cannot participate ; and die with thirst, 
though streams of delight surround me." 



LESSON V. 

The Contrast : or Peace and War. — Athene um. 

peace. 

Lovely art thou, O Peace ! and lovely are thy children, 
and lovely are the prints of thy footsteps in the green 
vallevs. 

m 

Blue wreaths of smoke ascend through the tiees, and be- 
tray the half-hidden cottage : the eye contemplates well- 
thatched ricks, and barns bursting with plenty : the peas- 
ant laughs at the approach of winter. 

White houses peep through the trees ; cattle stand cool- 
ing m the pool ; the casement of the farm-house is covered 
with jessamine and honey-suckle ; the stately green-house 
exhales the perfume of summer climates. 

Children climb the green mound of the rampart, and ivy 
holds together the half demolished buttress. 

The old men sit at their doors ; the gossip leans over her 
counter ; the children shout and frolic k in the streets. 

The housewife's stores of bleached linen, whiter than 
snow, are laid up with fragrant herbs ; they are the pride 
of the matron, the toil of many a winter's night. 

The wares if the merahant are spread abroad in the 
shops, or stored in the high-piled warehouses ; the labour 
of each profits all ; the inhabitant of the north drinks the 
fragrant herb of China ; the peasant's child wears the webs 
of Hindostan. 

The lame, the blind, and the aged, repose in hospitals ; 
the rich, softened by prosperity, pity the poor ; the poor, 
disciplined into order, respect the rich. 

Justice is dispensed to all. Law sits steady on her throne, 
arid the sword is her servant. 

WAR. 

They have rushed through like a hurricane ; like an ar- 
my of locusts they have devoured the earth ; the war has 
fallen like a water-spout, and deluged the land with blood. 



Lesson 5.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 23 

The smoke rises not through the trees, for the honours 
of the grove are fallen ; and the hearth of the cottager is 
cold : but it rises from villages burned with fire, and from 
warm ruins, spread over the now naked plain. 

The ear is filled with the confused bellowing of oxen, and 
tad bleating of over-driven sheep ; they are swept from 
their peaceful plains ; with shouting and goading are they 
driven away ; the peasant folds his arms, and resigns his 
faithful fellow-labourers. 

Tne farmer weeps over his barns consumed by fire, and 
his demolished roof, and anticipates the driving of the win- 
ter snows. 

On that rising ground, where the green turf looks black 
with fire, yesterday stood a noble mansion ; the owner had 
said in his heart, Here will I spend the evening of my days, 
and enjoy the fruit of my years of toil : my name shall de- 
scend with mine inheritance, and my children's children 
shall sport under the trees which I have planted. — The 
fruit of his years of toil is swept away in a moment ; wast- 
ed, not enjoyed ; and the evening of his days is left deso- 
late. 

The temples are profaned : the soldier's curse resounds 
in the house of God : the marble pavement is trampled by 
iron hoofs : horses neigh beside the altar. 

Law and order are forgotten : violence and rapine are 
abroad : the golden cords of society are loosed. 

Here are the shriek of wo and the cry of anguish ; and 
there is suppressed indignation, bursting the heart with si- 
lent despair. 

The groans of the wounded are in the hospitals, and by 
the road-side, and in every thicket ; and the housewife's 
web, whiter than snow r , is scarcely sufficient to stanch the 
blood of her husband and children. — Look at that youth, 
the first-born of her strength : yesterday he bounded as the 
roe-buck ; was glowing as the summer-fruits ; active in 
sports, strong to labour : he has passed in one moment from 
youth to age; his comeliness is departed; helplessness is 
his portion, for the days of future years. He is more de- 
erepit than his grandsire, on whose head are the snows of 
eighty winters ; but those were the snows of nature : this is 
the desolation of man. 

Every thing unholy and unclean comes abroad from its 
lurking-place, and deeds of darkness are done beneath the 
eye 'f day. The villagers no longer start at horrible 



24 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 6. 

sights ; the soothing rites of burial are denied, and human 
bones are tossed by human hands. 

No one careth for another ; every one, hardened by mis- 
ery? careth for himself alone. 

Lo these are what God has set before thee : child of 
reason ! son of woman ! unto which does thine heart in- 
cline 1 



LESSON VI. 

Parallel between Pope and Dry den. — Johnson. 

Pope professed to have learned his poetry from Dryden, 
Whom, whenever an opportunity was presented, he praised 
through his whole life with unvaried liberality ; and perhaps 
his character may receive some illustration, if he be com- 
pared with his master. 

Integrity of understanding, and nicety of discernment, 
were not allotted in a less proportion to Dryden than to Pope. 
The rectitude of Dryden's mind was sufficiently shown by 
the dismission of his poetical prejudices, and the rejection of 
unnatural thoughts and rugged numbers. But Dryden nev- 
er desired to apply all the judgement that he had. He wrote, 
and professed to write, merely for the people ; and when he 
pleased others, he contented himself. He spent no time in 
struggles to rouse latent powers ; he never attempted to 
make that better which was already good, nor often to mend 
what he must have known to be faulty. He wrote, as he 
tells us, with very little consideration : when occasion or 
necessity called upon him, he poured out what the present 
moment happened to supply, and, when once it had passed 
the press, ejected it from his mind ; for, when he had no pe- 
cuniary interest, he had no further solicitude. 

Pope was not content to satisfy ; he desired to excel, and 
therefore always endeavoured to do his best : he did not 
court the candour, but dared the judgement of his reader, 
and, expecting no indulgence from others, he showed none 
*o himself. He examined lines and words with minute and 
©unctilious observation, and retouched every part with in- 
defatigable diligence, till he had left nothing to be forgiven 

For this reason he kept his pieces very long in his hands, 
ivhile he considered and reconsidered them. The only 
poems which can be supposed to have been written with 



Lesson 6.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. ,&> 

such regard to the times as might hasten their publication, 
were the two satires of Thirty-eight : of which Dadsley 
told me, that they were brought to him by the author, that 
they might be fairly copied, " Every line," said he, *' was 
then written twice over ; I gave him a clean transcrjpt, 
which he sent some time afterwards to me for the press, 
with every line written ^PPfee over a second time.' 

His declaration, that his care for his works ceased at their 
publication, was not strictly true. His parental attention 
never abandoned them : what he found amiss in the first 
edition, he silentlv corrected in those that followed. He 
appears to have revised the Iliad, and freed it from sopic of 
its imperfection«s ; and the Essay on Criticism received many 
improvements after its first appearance. It will seldom be 
found that he altered without adding clearness, elegance, or 
vigour. Pope had perhaps the judgement of Dryden ; but 
Dryden certainly wanted the diligence of Pope. 

In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed 
to Dryden, whose education was more scholastick, and who, 
before he became an author, had been allowed more tirn^ 
for study, with better means of information. His mind has 
a larger range, and he collects his images and illustration? 
from a more extensive circumference of science, Dryden 
knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his 
local manners. The notions of Drvden were formed br 
comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by minute 
attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of 
Dryden, and more certainty in that of Pope. 

Poetry was not the sole praise of cither ; for both ex- 
celled likewise in prose ; but Pope did not borrow his prose 
from his predecessor. The style of Dryden is capricious 
and varied ; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden 
obeys the motions of his own mind ; Pope constrains his 
mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes 
vehement and rapid ; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and 
gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into ine* 
qualities, and diversified by the varied exuberance of abun 
dant vegetation ; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the si the 
and levelled by the roller. 

Of genius, that power which constitutes a poet ; that 
quality without which judgement is cold, and knowledge is 
inert ? that, energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and 
animates ; the superiority must, with some hesitation, be 
allowed to Dryden* It is not to be inferred, tjhaj; of this 

3 



20 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 7. 

poetical vigour Pope had only a little, because Dryden had 
more ; for every other writer since Milton must give place 
to Pope ; and even of Dryden it must be said, that if he s ias 
brighter paragraphs, lie has not better poems. Dryden's 
performances were always hasty, either excited by 3»;rne 
external occasion, or extorted by domestick necessity ; he 
composed without consideration, and published without cor- 
rection. What his mind could supply at call, or gather in 
one excursion, was all that he sought, and all that he gave. 
The dilatory caution of Pope enabled him to condense his 
sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate ail 
that study might produce, or chance might supply. If the 
flights of Dryden, therefore, are higher, Pope continues long- 
er on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of 
Pope's the heat is more regular and constant. Dryden of- 
ten surpasses expectation, and Pope never falls below it- 
Dryden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with 
perpetual delight. 

This parallel will, I hope, when it is well considered, be 
found just : and if the reader should suspect me, as I suspect 
myself, of some partial fondness for the memory of Dryden, 
let him not too hastily condemn me ; for meditation and in 
quiry may, perhaps, show him the reasonableness of my de* 
termination. 



SELECT SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS. 



LESSON VII. 

JVtntcr. 

O Winter ? . ruler of the inverted year ! 

Thv scatter'd hair with sleet like ashes fiU'd, 

Thy breath congeal'd upon thy lips, thy cheeks 

Fringed with a beard made white with other snows 

Than those of age, thy forehead wrapt in clouds, 

A leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne 

A sliding car, indebted to no wheels, 

But urged by storms along i«s slipp'ry way, 

Move thee, all unlovely as thou seem'st, 

And dreaded as thou art ! 



LifiMK J.] FIRKf CLA^S HOOK* 27 

Spring, — M ilton. 

Now gentle gales, 
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense 
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole 
Those balmy spoils. As when, to them who sail 
leyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past 
Mozamhie, off at sea northeast winds blow 
Sabean odours from the spicy shore 
Of Araby the blest ; with such delay 
Well-pleas'd they slack their course, and many a league 
Cheer'd w T ith the grateful smell old Ocean smiles. 

Mercy. — Sn akspear e. 

The quality of mercy is not stiam'd ; 

It droppeth as the gentle dew from Heaven 

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest ; 

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes : 

'Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes 

The throned monarch better than Ms crown ; 

And earthly power doth then show likest God's, 

When mercy seasons just'ce. — We do pray for mercy ; 

And that same prayer doth teach us all to render 

The deeds of mercy. 

The descried mansion. 

Forsaken stood the hall, 
Worms ate* the floors, the tap'stry lied the. wall ; 
No fire the kitchen's cheerless grate display 'd ; 
No cheerful light the long-clos'd sash convey'd ! 
The crawling worm that turns a summer fly, 
Here spun his shroud, and laid him up to die 
His winter death : — upon the bed of state, 
The bat shrill shrieking, woo'd his flickering mate : 
To empty rooms the curious came no more, 
From empty cellar, turn'd the angry poor. 
To one small room the steward found his way, 
Where tenants followed to complain and pay. 

The man of a cultivated imagination, — Campbeu*. 

His path shall be where streamy mountains swell 
Their shadowy grandeur o'er the narrow dell, 

* Pronounced et. 



28 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 7. 

Where mouldering piles and forests intervene, 

Mingling with darker tints the living green ; 

No circling hills his ravish'd eye to bound, 

Heaven, Earth, and Ocean, blazing all around ! 

The moon is up — 'the watch-tower dimly burns— 

And down the vale his sober step returns ; 

But pauses oft, as winding rocks convey 

The still sweet fall of Music k far away ; 

And oft he lingers from his home awhile 

To watch the dying notes 1— and start, and smile ! 

* Evening sounds.-— Goldsmith. 

Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close, 
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose* 
There as I pass'd with careless steps and slow, 
The mingling notes came soften'd from below : 
The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung, 
The sober herd that low'd to meet their young, 
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, 
The playful children. just let loose from school, 
The watch-dog's voice that bay'cl the whispering windj 
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind: 
These all in soft confusion sought the shade, 
And fillM each pause the nightingale had made. 

Moonlight*— Porn* 

When the fair moon, refulgent lamp of night, 
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light; 
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene, 
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene ; 
Around her throne the vivid planets roll, 
And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole, 
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed, 
And tip with silver every mountain's head ; 
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise 5 
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies ; 
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight, 
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light. 

Morning Sounds.— Beattie. 

But who the melodies of morn can tell ? 
The wild brook babbling down the mountain's side; 



Lesson 8.] FIRST CLASS COOK. 29 

The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple hell ; 
The pipe of early shepherd, dim descried 
In the lone valley ; echoing far and wide 
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above ; 
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide ; 
The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love, 
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove. 

The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark ; 
Crown'd with her pail the tripping milk-maid sings ; 
The whistling ploughman stalks afield ; and hark ! 
Down the rough slope the ponderous wagon rings ; 
Through rustling corn the hare astonish'd springs ; 
Slow tolls the nllage-clock the drowsv hour ; 
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings ; 
Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower, 
And shrill lark carols clear from her aerial tower. 



The beauties of Nature.— Beattie. 

O how canst thou renounce the boundless store 
Of charms that nature to her votary yields ! 
The war bl ing woodland, the resounding shore, 
The pomp of groves, the garniture of fields ; 
All that the genial ray of morning gilds, 
And all that echoes to the song of even. 
All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields, 
And all the dread magnificence of Heaven, 
O how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven ? 



LESSON VIII. 

The advantages of a taste for natural history. — -Wood* 

When a young person who has enjoyed the benefit of a 
liberal education, instead of leading a life of indolence, dissi- 
pation, or vice, employs himself in studying the marks of 
>nfinite wisdom and goodness which are manifested in every 
part of the visible creation, we know not which we ought 
most to congratulate, the publick, or the individual. Self* 
taught naturalists are often found to make no little progress 

3* 



30 THE AMERICAN [Lesson S 

in knowledge, and to strike out many new lights, by the mere 
aid of original genius and patient application. But the well 
educated youth engages in these pursuits with peculiar ad- 
vantage. He takes more comprehensive views, is able to 
consult a greater variety of authors, and, from the early 
habits of his mind, is more accurate and more methodical in 
all his investigations. The world at large, therefore, cannot 
fail to be benefited by his labours ; and the value of the en- 
joyments, w r hich at the same time he secures to himself, is 
bevond all calculation. No tedious, vacant hour ever makes 
him wish for he knows not what — complain, he knows not 
why. Never does a restless impatience at having nothing 
to do, compel him to seek a momentary stimulus to his dor- 
mant powers in the tumultuous pleasures of the intoxicating 
cup, or the agitating suspense of the game of chance. 
Whether he be at home or abroad, in every different clime, 
and in every season of the year, universal nature is before 
him, and invites him to a banquet richly replenished with 
Whatever can invigorate his understanding, or gratify his 
mental taste. The earth on which he treads, the air in which 
he moves, the sea along the margin of which he walks, all 
teem with objects that keep his attention perpetually awake, 
excite him to healthful activity, and charm him with an ever 
varying succession of the beautiful, the wonderful, the use- 
ful, and the new. And if, in conformity with the direct ten- 
dency of such occupations, he rises from the creature to the 
Creator, and considers the duties which naturally result from 
his own situation and rank in this vast system of being, he 
will derive as much satisfaction from the anticipation of the 
future, as from the experience of the present, and the recol- 
lection of the past. The mind of the pious naturalist is al- 
ways cheerful, always animated with the noblest and most 
benign feelings. Every repeated observation, every unex- 
pected discovery, directs his thoughts to the great Source of 
ail order, and all good ; and harmonizes all his faculties 
with the general voice of nature. 

<* — —The men 
Whom nature's works can charm, with God himself 
Hold converse ; grow familiar, day by day, 
With his conceptions ; act upon his plan, 
And form to his the relish of their souls." 



Lesson 9.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 31 

LESSON IX. 

The pleasures of a cultivated Imagination, — Dugald 

Stewart. 

The attention of young persons may be seduced, by well- 
selected works of fiction, from the present objects of the 
senses, and the thoughts accustomed to dwell on the past, 
the distant or the future ; and in the same proportion in 
which this effect is, in any instance, accomplished, " the 
man," as Dr. Johnson has justly remarked, "is exalted in 
the scale of intellectual being." The tale of fiction will 
probably be soon laid aside with the toys and rattles of in- 
fancy ; but the habits which it has contributed to fix, and 
the powers which it has brought into a state of activity, will 
remain with the possessor, permanent and inestimable treas- 
ures, to his latest hour. 

Nor is it to the young alone that these observations are 
to be exclusively applied. Instances have frequently oc- 
curred of individuals, in whom the power of imagination 
has, at a more advanced period of life, been found suscep- 
tible of culture to a wonderful degree. In such men, what 
an accession is gained to their most refined pleasures ! 
What enchantments are added to their most ordinary per- 
ceptions ! The mind awakening, as if from a trance, to a 
new existence, becomes habituated to the most interesting 
aspects of life and of nature ; the intellectual eye " is purg- 
ed of its film ;" and things the most familiar and unnoticed, 
disclose charms invisible before. 

The same objects and events winch were lately beheld 
with indifference, occupy now all the powers and capaci- 
ties of the soul : the contrast between the present and the 
past serving only to enhance and to endear so unlooked for 
an acquisition. What Gray has so finely said of the pleas- 
ures of vicissitude, conveys but a faint image of what is ex- 
perienced by the man, who, after having lost in vulgar oc- 
cupations and vulgar amusements, his earliest and most 
precious years, is thus introduced at last to a new heaven 
and a new earth : 

" The meanest floweret of the vale, 
The simplest note that swells the gale, 
The common sun, the air, the skies, 
To him are opening Paradise." 



32 THE AMERICAN [Lesson JO. 

The effects of foreign travel have been often remarked, 
not only in rousing the curiosity of the traveller while 
abroad, bat in correcting, after his return, whatever habits 
of inattention he had contracted to the institutions and man- 
ners among which he was bred. It is in a way somewhat 
analogous, that our occasional excursions into the regions of 
imagination increase our interest in those familiar realities 
from which the stores of imagination are borrowed. We 
learn insensibly to view nature with the eye of the painter 
and the poet, and to seize those " happy attitudes of tilings" 
which their taste at first selected ; while, enriched with the 
accumulations of ages, and with " the spoils of time," we 
unconsciously combine with what we see, all that we know 
and all that we feel ; and sublime the organical beauties of 
the material world, by blending with them the inexhausti- 
ble delights of the heart and of the fancy. 



LESSON X. 

The happiness of animals a proof of the divine benevolence,- 

Paley. 

The air, the earth, the water* teem^with delighted exist- 
ence. In a spring noon or a summer eveningr^on which- 
ever side we turn our eyes^ myriads of happy beings crowd 
upon our view. " The ^ insect ,youth_ are on the wing." 
Swarms of new-born fies, are trying their pinions in the 
air. Their sportive motions, -their gratuitous activity, their 
continual change of place without use or purpose, testify 
their joy, and the exultation which they fee! in their lately 
discovered faculties. 

A bee amongst the flowers in spring, is one of the most 
cheerful objects that ean be looked upon. Its life appears 
to be all enjoyment ; so busy and so pleased : yetjt is only 
a specimen of insect life, with which, by reason of the ani- 
mal being half domesticated, we happen to be better ac- 
quainted than we are with that of others. The whole wing- 
ed insect tribe, it is probable, are equally intent upon their 
proper employments, and, under eveiy variety of cori£tin«- 
tion, gratified, and perhaps equally gratified, by the orEces 
which the Author of their nature has assigned to them. 

But the atmosphere is not the only scene of their enjoy- 



Lesson 10.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 33 

merits. Plant? are covered with little insects, greedily suck- 
ing their Juices, and constantly, as it should seem, in the act 
of sucking. It cannot be doubted but that this is a state of 
gratification. What else should fix them so closely to the 
operation, and so long 7 Other species are running about, 
with an alacrity in their motions, which carries with it every 
mark of pleasure. Large patches cf ground are sometimes 
kalf>cdVered with these brisk and sprightly natures. 

If we look to what the wafers. produce, shoals of the fry 
offish frequent the margins of rivers, of lakes, and of the 
sea itself; These are so happy, that they know not what 
to do with -themselves. Their attitudes, their vivacity, their 
leaps out , of the water, their frolicks in it, all conduce to 
show their excess of spiril^, and are simply the effects of 
that excess." Walking by the seaside, in a caluf evening, 
upon a sprdy.shore, paid with an ebbing' tide, I have frequent 
ly remarked the. appearanceof a dark cloud, or rather, very 
thick mist, hatfsing over the' edge ofjthe water, to the height, 
perhaps, of hjtlf a yard, and of the breadth of two or three 
vards, stretching along the coast as far as the eve could 
reach, and always retiring with the water. 

When this cloud came to be examined, it proved to be so 
much space, filled with young shrimjis, in the act of bound- 
ing into the air, from the shallow margin of the water, or 
from the wet sand. If any motion of a mute animal could 
express delight, it was this : if they had meant to make signs 
of their happiness, they could not have done it more intel- 
ligibly: Suppose, then, what there is no reason to doubt, 
each individual of this number to be in a state of positive 
enjoyment ; what a sum, collectively, of gratification and 
pleasure have we here before our view ! 

^Fhe ^/oirng of all animals appear to receive pleasure sim- 
ply from the exercise of their limbs ami bodily faculties, 
without reference to anv end to be attained, or any use to 
be answered bv the exertion. A child, without, knowing any 
tiling of the use of language, is in a high degree delighted 
With being able to speak. Its incessant repetition of a few 
articulate sounds, or, perhaps, of a single word, which it 
has learned to pronounce, proves this point clearly. Nor is 
it less pleased with its first successful endeavours to walk, 
or rather, to run, (which precedes walking.) although en- 
tirely ignorant of the importance of the attainment to its 
future life, and even without applying it to any present pur- 
pose. A child is delighted with speaking, without having 



34 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 10. 

any thing to say ; and with walking* without knowing 
whither to go. And, previously to both these, it is reasona- 
ble to believe, that the waking hours of infancy are agreea- 
bly taken up with the exercise of vision, or, perhaps, more 
properly speaking, with learning to see. 

But it is not for youth alone that the great Parent of cre- 
ation has provided. Happiness is found with the purring 
cat, no less than with the playful kitten : in the arm-chair 
of dozing age, as weL as in either the sprightliness of the 
dance, or the animation of the chace. To novelty, to aciite- 
ness of sensation, to hope, to ardour of pursuit, succeeds, 
what is, in no inconsiderable degree, an equivalent for them 
all, " perception of ease." Herein is the exact difference 
between the young and the old. The young are not happy, 
but when enjoying pleasure ; the old are happy, when free 
from pain. And this constitution suits with the degrees of 
animal power which they respectively possess. The vigour 
of youth was to he stimulated to action by impatience of 
rest; whilst to the imbecility of age, quietness and, repose 
become positive gratifications. In one important respect 
the advantage is with the old. A state of ease is, generally 
speaking, more attainable than a state of pleasure. A con- 
stitution, therefore, which can enjoy ease, is preferable to 
that which can taste only pleasure. 

This same perception of ease oftentimes renders old age 
a condition of great comfort ; especially when riding at its 
anchor, after a busy or tempestuous life. It is well de- 
scribed by Rousseau, to be the interval of repose and enjoy- 
ment, between the hurry and the end of life. How far the 
same cause extends to other animal natures, cannot be judg- 
ed of with certainty. The appearance of satisfaction, with 
which most animals, as their activity subsides, seek and 
enjoy rest, affords reason to believe, that this source of grat- 
ification is appointed to advanced life, under all, or most, 
of its various forms. 

There is a great deal of truth in the following representa- 
tion given by Dr. Percival, a very pious writer, as well as 
excellent man : " To the intelligent and virtuous', old age 
presents a scene of tranquil enjoyments, of obedient appe- 
tites, of well regulated affections, of maturity in knowledge, 
and of calm preparation for immortality. In this serene and 
dignified state, placed, as it were, on the confines of two 
worlds, the mind of a good man reviews what is past, with the 
complacency of an approving conscience ; and looks forward, 



Lesson 11.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 3a 

with humble confidence in the mercy of God ; and with de- 
vout aspirations towards his eternal and ever-increasing 
favour." 



LESSON XI. 

Real virtue can love nothing but virtue* — Fenelon. 

Dionysius, Pythias, and Damox. 

D io7iy si us. 

Good God ! what do I see ? 'Tis Pvthias arriving here ! 

— 'Tis Pythias himself ! 1 never could have thought it. 

Hah ! it is he : he is come to die, and to redeem his friend. 

Pythias. Yes ; it is I. I went away for no other end b\it 
to pay to the gods what I had vowed them ; to settle my 
family affairs according to the rules of justice ; and to bid 
adieu to my children, in order to die the more peaceably. 

Diony. But what makes you come back ? How now ! 
hast thou no fear of death ? Comest thou to seek it like a 
desperado, a madman ? 

Pyth. I come to suffer it, though I have not deserved it ; 
I cannot find it in my heart to let my friend die in my stead* 

Diony. Thou lovest him better than thyself then ? 

Pyth. No : I love him as myself ; but I think I ought 
to die rather than he, since it was I thou didst intend to put 
to death : it were not just that he should suffer, to deliver 
me from death, the punishment thou preparedst for me. 

Diony. But thou pretendest to deserve death no more 
than he. 

Pyth. It is true, we are both equally innocent ; and it is 
no iuster to put me to death than him. 

Diony. Why sayest thou, then, that it were not just he 
should die instead of thee 1 

Pyth. It is equally unjust in thee to put Damon or me 
to death : but Pythias were unjust did he let Damon suffer 
a death that the tyrant prepared only for Pythias. 

Diony. Thou comest then, on the day appointed, with 
no other view than to save the life of a friend, by losing thy 
town. 

Pyth. I come, with regard to thee, to suffer an act of in- 



/ 



3<> THE AMERICAN [Lesson U 

justice, which is common with tyrants ; and, with respect to 
Damon, to do a piece of justice, by rescuing him from a dan- 
ger which he incurred out of generosity to me. 

Diony. And, thou, Damon, wert thou not really afraid 
that Pythias would never come back, and that thou shouldst 
have to pay for him ? 

Damon. I knew but too well that Pythias would return 
punctually, and that he would be much more afraid to 
break his word, than to lose his life : would to the gods that 
his relations and friends had forcibly detained him : so he 
would now be the comfort of good men, and I should have 
that of dying for him. 

Diony. What ! does life displease thee ? 

Damon. Yes ; it displeases me when I see a tyrant. 

Diony. Well, thou shalt see him no more : I'll have thee 
put to death immediately. 

Pyth. Pardon the transports of a man who regrets his 
dying friend. But remember, that it was I only thou de- 
votedst to death : I come to suffer it, in order to redeem my 
friei d : refuse me not this consolation in my last hour. 

Diony. I cannot bear two men, who despise their lives 
and my power. 

Damon. Then thou canst not bear virtue. 

Diony. No : I cannot bear that proud, disdainful virtue, 
which contemns life, which dreads no punishment, which 
is not sensible to riches anil pleasures. 

Damon. However, thou seest that it is not insensible to 
honour, justice, and friendship. 

Diony. Guards ! take Pythias away to execution : we 
shall see whether Damon will continue to despise my 
power. 

Damon. Pythias, by returning to submit himself to thy 
pleasure, has merited his life at thy hand ; and I, by giving 
myself up to thy indignation for him, have enraged thee : 
be content, and put me to death. 

Pyth. No, no, Dionysius ; remember that it was I alone 
who displeased thee : Damon could not 

Diony. Alas ! what do I see ? Where am I 1 How ui> 
happy am I, and how worthy to be so ! No, P have hither- 
to known nothing : I have spent my days in darkness and 
errour : all my power avails me nothing towards makingmy- 
self beloved : I cannot boast of having acquired, in above 
thirty years of tyranny, one single friend upon earth : theso 
two men, in a private condition, love each other tenderly, 



Lesson 12.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 37 






reservedly confide in each other, are happy in a mutiia 
love, and content to die for each other. 

I*vth. How should vouhave friends, vou who never loved 
any body 1 Had you loved men, they would love vou : you 
have feared them : thev fear vou, thev detest vou. 

Diomj. Damon ! Pythias ! vouchsafe to admit me be- 
tween you, to be the third friend of so perfect a society : I 
give you your lives, and will load you with riches. 

Damon. We have no occasion for thy riches ; and as for 
thy friendship, we cannot accept of it until thou be good 
Mid just ; till that time thou canst have only trembling slaves, 
and base flatterers. Thou must be virtuous, beneficent, so- 
ciable, susceptible of friendship, ready to hear the truth, 
and must know now to live in a sort of equality with real 
friends, in order to be beloved bv free mem 



LESSON XII. 

The Rainbow. — Baldwin's Lond. Mazazhsh* 

The evening was glorious, and figftt through the trees 
Piay'd the sunshine and rain-drops, the birds and the breeze , 
The landscape, outstretching in loveliness, lay 
On the lap of the year, in the beautv of May. 

For the Queen of the Spring, as she pass'd down the vale. 
Left her robe on the trees, and her, breath on the gale ; 
And the smile of her promise gave joy to the hours, 
And flush in her footsteps sprang herbage and flowers, 

The skies, like a banner in sunset unrolPd, 
O'er the west threw their splendour of azure and gold - f 
But one cloud at a distance rose dense, and increased, 
Till its margin of black touch'd the zenith, and east. 

We gazed on the scenes, while around us they glow'd r 
When a vision of beauty appeared on the cloud ; — 
'Twas not like the Sun, as at mid-day we view, 
Nor the Moon, that rolls nightly through star-light and blue. 

Like a spirit, it came in the van of a storm ! 
And the eye and the heart, hail'd its beautiful form* 
For it Iook'd not severe, like an Angel of Wrath, 
By* its garment of brightness illumed its dark path 

4 



ht> 



/ 



i 






33 Tilli A'MKKICAN [Lason V& 

In the hues of its prrandettr, sublimely it stood, 
O'er the river, the village, the field, and the wood • 
And river, field, village, and woodlands grew bright, 
A « conscious they gave and afforded delight. 



-C1LO 



• r .- 



"was the bow of OnYnirxotenee ; bent in His hand* 
Whose grasp at Creation the universe spanid d ; 
*Twas the presence of God, in a symbol sublime; 
His vow from the iro;j& to the exit of Tune ! 



not dreadful, as when in the whirl wind he plea/ 
When storms are his chariot, and lightnings- his ste< 
The black clouds his banner of vengeance unfurl'i 
And thunder his voice to a sruilt-stricken world ;— 

In the breath of his presence, when thousands expire. 

And seas boil with fliry, and rocks barn with lire, 

And the sword, and the plague-spot, with death strew the 

plain, 
And vultSres, and wolves, are tlie graves of the she in : 

Not such was the Rainbow, that beautiful one I 
Whose arch was refraction, its key-stone — the Sim ; 
A pavilion it seem'd which the Deity graced, 

And Justice and Mercy met there, and embraced. 

Awhile, and it sweetly bent over the gloom, 
Like Love o'er a death-couch, or Hope o'er the tomb ; 
Then left the dark scene ; whence it slowly retired*. 
As Love had just vanishAL or Hope had expired. 

I sazed not alone on that source of my sonir : 

To all who beheld it these verses belong; 

Its presence to all was the path of the Lord \ 

Each fill heart expanded, — grew warm, and adored i 

Like a visit— the converse of friends — or a day, 
That bow, from my sight, passed for ever away : 
Like that visit, that converse, that day — to my heart, 
That how from remembrance can never depart. 



?nr?: 



Fis a picture in memory distinctly defined, 
With the strong and unperishing colours of mind : 
A part of my neing beyond my control, 
Beheld on that cloud, and transcribed on my soul. 



Lesson 13.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 3D 



. LESSON XIII. 

Eternity of God.— Greenwood. 

We receive such repeated intimations of decay in fel 
world throw grh which we are passing; decline- and chars 

and loss, follow decline and change and loss in such rapid 
succession, that we can almost catch the sound of • a! 

wasting, and hear the work of desolation going on ily 
around us. " The mountain falling cometh to nought, and 
the rock is removed out of his place. The waters weaj he 
stones, the things which grow out of the dust of the eai 
are washed away, and the hope of man is destroyed. 55 
Conscious of our own instability, we look about for son 3- 
thing to rest on, but we look in vain. The heavens and 
earth had a beginning, and they will have an end, Ti face 
of the world is changing, daily and hourly. All animal 
things grow old and die. The rocks crumble, the trees fall, 
the leaves fade, and the grass withers. The clouds m Lv- 
ing, and the waters are flowing away from us. 

The firmest works of man, too, are gradually givii 
the ivy clings to the mouldering tower, the brier fa'ai out 
irom the shattered window, and the wallflower sprii 
the disjointed stones. The founders of these peri e 

works have shared the same fate long ago. If T ~ 
back to the days of our ancestors, to the men as well s 3 the 
dwellings of former times, they become immediately asso- 
ciated in our imaginations, and only make the feeling of in- 
stability stronger and deeper than before. In the spacious 
domes, which once held our fathers, the serpent hi- - and 
the wild bird screams. The halls, winch once were 
ed with all that taste, and science, and labour could pro- 
cure, which resounded with melody, and w§re lighted T 
with beauty, are buried by their own ruins, mocked I: nr 
own desolation. The voice of merriment, and of waili 
the steps of the busy and the idle have ceased in the desert- 
ed courts, and the weeds choke the entrances, and the long 
glass waves upon the hearth-stone. The works of art, the 
forming hand, the tombs, the very ashes they contained, are 
all 2'one. 

While we thus walk among the ruins of the past, a sad 
feeling of insecurity comes over us ; and that feeling is by 
no means diminished when we arrive at home. If we turn to 



/ 



40 THE AMERICAN {Lesson 13. 

our friends, we can hardly speak to them before they bid us 
farewell. We see them for a few moments, and in a few 
moments more their countenances are changed, and they 
are sent away. It matters not how near and dear they are. 
The ties which bind us together are never too close to be 
parted, or too strong to be broken. Tears were never 
known to move the kino- of terrours, neither is it enough that 
we are compelled to surrender one, or two, or many of 
those we love ; for though the price is so great, we buy no 
favour with it, and our hold on those who remain is as slight 
as ever. The shadows all elude our grasp, and follow^ one 
another down the valley. We gain no confidence, then, no 
feeling of security, by turning to our contemporaries and 
kindred. We know that the forms, which are breathing 
around us, are as shortlived and fleeting as those were, 
which have been dust for centuries. The sensation of van- 
ity, uncertainty, and ruin, is equally strong, whether we 
muse on what" has long been prostrate, or gaze on what is 
falling now, or will fall so soon. 

If every thing which comes under our notice has endured 
for so short a time, and in so short a time will be no more, 
we cannot say that we receive the least assurance by think- 
ing on ourselves. When they, on whose fate we have been 
meditating, were engage J in the active scenes of life, as full 
of health and hope as we are now, what were we ? We had 
no knowledge, no consciousness, no being ; there was not a 
single thing in the wide universe which knew us. And after 
the same interval shall have elapsed, which now divides 
their days from ours, what shall we be 1 What they are 
now. When a few more friends have left, a few more hopes 
deceived, and a few more changes mocked us, " we shall be 
brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb ; the clods 
of the valley shall be sweet unto us, and every man shall 
follow us, as there are innumerable before us." AH power 
will have forsaken the strongest, and the loftiest will be laid 
low, and every eye will be closed, and every voice hushed, 
and every heart will have ceased its beating. And when 
we have gon j ourselves, even our memories will not stay 
behind us long. A few of the near and dear will bear our 
iikeness in their bosoms, till they too have arrived at the 
end of their journey, and entered the dark dwelling of un- 
consciousness. In the thoughts of others we shall live only 
till the last sound of the bell, which informs them of our de- 
parture, has ceased to vibrate in their ears. A stone, per- 



Lesson li.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 41 

Imps, may tell some wanderer where we lie, when we came 
here, and when we went away ; but even that will soon re- 
fuse to bear us record : " time's effacing lingers" will be 
busy on its surface, and at length will wear it smooth ; and 
then the stone itself will sink, or crumble, and the wanderer 
of another age will pass, without a single call upon his sym- 
pathy, over our unheeded graves* 



•*£**• 



LESSON XIV, 

Same subject concluded. 

Is there nothing to counteract the sinking of the heart, 
which must be the -effect of observations like these ? Is 
there no substance anions: all these shadows ? If all who 
live and breathe around us are the creatures of yesterday, 
and destined to see destruction to-morrow ; if the same con- 
dition is our own, and the same sentence is written against 
us ; if the solid forms of inanimate nature and laborious art 
are fading and falling; if we look in vain for durability to 
the very roots of the mountains, where shall we turn, and 
on what can we rely 1 Can no support be offered ; can 
no source of confidence be named ? Oh yes 1 there is one 
Being to whom we can look with a perfect conviction of 
finding that security, which nothing about us can give^ and 1 
which nothing about us can take away. To this Being we 
can lift up our souls, and on him we may rest them, ex- 
claiming in the language of the monarch of Israel, "Before 
the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou haclst form- 
ed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to ever- 
lasting thou art God." " Of old hast thou laid the foundations 
of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 
They shall perish, but thou shalt endure, yea, all of them 
shall wax old like a garment, as a vesture shalt thou change 
them, and they shall be changed, but thou art the same, and 
thy years shall have no end." 

The eternity of God is a subject of contemplation, which, 
at the same time that it overwhelms us with astonishment 
and awe, affords us an immoveable ground of confideii re in 
the midst of a charisrinff world. All thing's which surrour d us, 
all these dying, mouldering inhabitants of time, must have 
had a Creator, for the plain reason, that they could not have 
created themselves. And their Creator must have existed 

A # 



/ 

/ 



42 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 14. 

from all eternity, for the plain reason, that the first cause 
must necessarily be uncaused. As we cannot suppose a be- 
ginning without a cause of existence, that which is the cause 
of all existence must be self-existent, and could have had 
no beginning. And, as it had no beginning, so also, as it is 
beyond the reach of all influence and control, as it is inde- 
pendent and almighty, it will have no end. 

Here then is a support, which will never fail ; here i$ a 
foundation which can never be moved — the everlasting Cre- 
ator of countless worlds, " the high and lofty One that in- 
hahiteth eternity. 5 ' What a sublime conception ! lie inhabits 
eternity, occupies this inconceivable duration, pervades and 
fills throughout this boundless dwelling. Ages on ages 
before even the dust of which we are formed was created, 
he had existed in infinite majesty, and a<res on a<res will roll 
away after we have all returned to the dust whence we 
were taken, and still he will exist in infinite maiesty, living 
in the eternity of his own nature, reigning in the plenitude 
of his own omnipotence, for ever sending forth the word, 
which forms, supports, and governs all things, commanding 
new created lisrht to shine on new created worlds, and rais- 
mg up new created generations to inhabit them. 

The contemplation of this glorious attribute of God, is fit- 
ted to Qxcite in our minds the most animating and consoling 
reflections. Standing, as we are, amid the ruins of time, 
and the wrecks of mortality, where every thing about us is 
created and dependent, proceeding from nothing, and has- 
tening to destruction, we rejoice that something is present- 
ed to our view which has stood from everlasting and will re- 
main for ever. When we have looked on the pleasures of 
life, and they have vanished away ; when we have looked 
on the works of nature, and perceived that they were chang- 
ing ; on the monuments of art, and seen that they would not 
stand; on our friends, and they have fled while we were 
gazing ; on ourselves, and felt that we were as fleeting as 
they ; when we have looked on every object to which we 
could turn our anxious eyes, and they have all told us that 
they could £'ive us no hope nor support, because they were 
so feeble themselves ; we can look to the throne of God : 
change and decay have never reached that ; the revolution 
-^f ages hr.s neve r moved it ; the waves of an eternity havs? 
been rushing past it, but it has remained unshaken ; the 
wave« of n rusher eternity are rushimr toward it, but it is fix- 
eo, u?:d C3lu ~C ver be disturbed. 



Lesson 15.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 43 

And blessed be God, who has assured us by a revelation 
from himself, that the throne of eternity is likewise a throne 
of mercy and love ; who has permitted and invited us to re- 
pose ourselves and our hopes on that which alone is ever- 
lasting and unchangeable. We shall shortly finish our al- 
lotted time on earth, even if it should be unusually prolong- 
ed. We shall leave behind us all which is now familiar and 
beloved, and a world of other days and other men will be 
entirely ignorant that once we lived. But the same unal- 
terable Being will still preside over the universe, through 
all its changes, and from his remembrance we shall nevei 
be blotted. We can never be where he is not, nor where 
he sees and loves and upholds us not. He is our Father 
and our God for ever. He takes us from earth that he may 
lead us to Heaven, that he may refine our nature from all 
its principles of corruption, share with us his own immor- 
tality, admit us to his everlasting habitation, and crown us 
with his eternity. 



-$ 



LESSON XV. * 

Tin Son. — Idle Man. 

There is no virtue without a characteristick beautv to 
make it particularly loved of the good, and to make the 
bad ashamed of their neglect of it. To do what is right 
argues superiour taste as well as morals ; and those whose 
practice is evil, feel an inferiority of intellectual power and 
enjoyment, even where they take no concern for a princi- 
ple. Doing well has something more in it thanthtrfulnUing 
of a duty. It is a cause of a just sense of elevation of char- 
acter ; it clears and strengthens the spirits ; it gives higher 
reaches of thought ; it widens our benevolence, and makes 
the current of our peculiar affections swift and deep. 

A sacrifice was never yet offered to a principle, that was 
not made up to us by self approval, and the consideration 
of what our degradation would have been had we done 
otherwise. Certainly, it is a pleasant and a wise thing, 
then, to follow what is right, when we only go along with 
our affections, and take the easy way of the virtuous pro 
pensities of our nature. 

The world is sensible of these truths, let it act as it may. 
It is not because of his 'integrity aioi_e that it relies on an 



4 



44 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 15. 

honest man ; hut it has more confidence in his judgement and 
wise conduct in the long run, than in the schemes of those 
of greater intellect, who go at large without any landmarks 
of principle. 80 that virtue seems of a double nature, and 
to stand oftentimes in the place of what we call talent. 

This reasoning, or rather feeling, of the world is all right; 
for the honest man only falls in with the order of nature, 
which is grounded in truth, and will endure along with it. 
And such a hold has a good man upon the world, that even 
where he has not been called upon to make a sacrifice to a 
principle, or to take a stand against wrong, but has merely 
avoided running into vices, and suffered himself to be borne 
along by the delightful and virtuous affections of private life, 
and has found his pleasure in practising the duties of home, 
he is looked up to with respect, as well as regarded with 
kindness. We attach certain notions of refinement to his 
thoughts, and of depth to his sentiment. The impression he 
makes on us is beautiful and peculiar. Other men in his 
presence, though we have nothing to object to them, and 
though they may be very well in their way, affect us as lack- 
ing something — we can hardly tell what — a certain sensi- 
tive delicacy of character and manner, without which they 
strike us as more or less vulgar. 

No creature in the world has this character so finely 
marked in him, as a respectful and affectionate son — partic- 
ularly in his relation to his mother. Every little attention 
he pays her, is not only an expression of filial attachment, 
and a grateful acknowledgment of past cares, but is an evi- 
dence of a tenderness of disposition which moves us the 
more, because not looked on so much as an essential prop- 
erty in a man's character, as an added grace which is be- 
stowed only upon a few. His regards do not appear like 
mere habits of duty, nor does his watchfulness of his moth- 
er's wishes seem like taught submission to her will. They 
are the native courtesies of a feeling mind, showing them- 
selves amidst stern virtues and masculine energies, like 
gleams of light on points of rocks. They are delightful as 
evidences of power yielding voluntary homage to the deli- 
cacy of the soul. The armed knee is bent, and the heart 
of the mailed man laid bare. 

Feelings that would seem to be at variance with each 
other, meet together and harmonize in the breast of a son. 
Every call of the mother which he answers to, and every 
ae. of submission which he performs, are not only so many 



Lesson 15.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 45 

acknowledgments of her authority, hut, also, so many in- 
stances of kindness and marks of protecting regard. The 
servant and defender, the child and guardian, are all min- 
gled in him. The world looks on him in this way ; and to 
draw upon a man the confidence, the respect, and the love 
of the world, it is enough to say of him, he is an excellent 
Son. 

In looking over some papers of a deceased acquaintance, 
I found the following fragment. He had frequently sooken 
to me of the person whom it concerned, and who had been 
his schoolfellow. I remember well his one day telling ine. 
that thinking the character of his friend, and some circum- 
stances in his life, were of such a kind that an interesting. 
moral little story might be made from them, he had under- 
taken it; but considering as he was going on, that bringing 
die private character and feelings of a deceased friend be- 
fore the world, was something like sacrilege, though done 
under a fictitious name, he had stopped soon after begin- 
ning the ta 1 ^ — that he had laid it away amongst his papers, 
and had never looked at it again. 

As the person it concerns has been a long time dead, and 
no relation survives, I do not feel that there can be anv im- 
propriety in my now making it publick. I give it as it was 
written, though evidently not revised by my friend. Though 
hastily put together, and beginning as abruptly as it ends, 
and with little of story, and no novelty in the circumstances, 
yet there is a mournful tenderness in it, which, I trust, will 
interest others in some portion as it did me. 



u The sun not set yet, Thomas ?" " Not quite, Sir. It 
blazes through the trees on the hill yonder as if their 
branches were all on fire." 

Arthur raised himself heavily forward, and with his hat 
still over his brow, turned his glazed and dim eyes towards 
the setting sun. It was only the night before that he had 
heard his mother was ill, and could survive but a day or two. 
He had lived nearly apart from society, and, being a lad of 
a thoughtful, dreamy mind, had made a world to himself. 
His thoughts and feelings were so much in it, that except 
in relation to his own home, there were the same vague and 
strange notions in his brain concerning the state of things 
surrounding him, as we have of a foreign land. 

The main feeling which this self-made world excited in 



/ 



46 TI1E AMERICAN i Lessen 16 

L. 

him was love, and like most of his age, lie had formed to 
himself a being suited to his own fancies. This was the 
romance of life, and though men, with minds like his, make 
imagination to stand oftentimes in the place of real exist- 
ence, and to take to itself as deep feeling 2nd concern, vet 
in domestick relations, which are so near, and usual, and 
private, they feel longer and more deeply than those who 
look upon their homes as only a better part of the world 
which they belong to. Indeed, in arYectionate and good 
men of a visionary cast, it is in some sort only realizing their 
hopes and desires, to turn them homeward. Arthur felt that 
it was so, and he loved his household the more that they 
gave him an earnest of one day realizing all his hopes and 
attachments. 

Arthur's mother was peculiarly dear to him, in having a 
character so much like his own. For though the cares and 
attachments of life had long ago taken place of a fanciful 
existence in her, yet her natural turn of mind was strong 
enough to give to these something of the romance of her 
disposition. This had led to a more than usual openness 
and intimacy between Arthur and his mother, and now 
brought to his remembrance the hours they had sat togeth- 
er by the fire light, when he listened to her mild and melan- 
choly voice, as she spoke of what she had undergone at the 
loss of her parents and husband. Her gentle rebuke of his 
faults, her afreetionate look of approval when he had done 
well, her care that he should be a hist man, and her moth- 
erly anxiety lest the world should go hard with him, all 
crowded into his mind, and he thought that every workllv 
attachment was hereafter to be a vain thing. 

He had passed the night between violent, tumultuous 
grief, and numb insensibility. Stepping into the carriage, 
with a slow, weak motion, like one who was quitting Ills sick 
chamber for the first time, he began his journey homeward. 
As he lifted his eyes upward, the few stars that were here 
and there over the sky, seemed to look down in pity, and 
shed a religious and healing light upon him. But they soon 
went out, one after another, and as the last faded from his 
imploring sight, it was as if every thing good and holy had 
forsaken him. The faint tint in the east soon became a 
ruddy glow, and the sun, shooting upward, burst over every 
living thing in full glorv. The sight went to. Arthur's sick 
heart; as if it were in mockerv of his miser v\ 

Leaning back in his carriage, with his hand over his eyes, 



Lisson .15.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 4? 

he was carried along, hardly sensible it was day. The old 
servant, Thomas, who was sitting by his side, went on talk- 
ing m a low monotonous tone ; but Arthur only heard some- 
thing sounding in his ears, scarcely heeding that it was a 
human yoice. lie had a sense of wearisomeness from the 
motion of die carriage, but in all things else the day passed 
as a melancholy dream. 

Almost the first words Arthur spoke" were those I have 
mentioned; As he looked out upon the setting sun, he shud- 
dered through his whole frame, and then became sick and 
pale. He thought he knew the hill near him ; and as they 
wound round it, some peculiar old trees appeared, and he 
was in a few minutes in the midst of the scenery near his 
home. The river before him reflecting the rich evening 
sky, looked as if poured out from a molten mine. The birds, 
gathering in, were shooting across each other, bursting; into 
short, gay notes, or singing their evening songs in the trees. 
It was a bitter thing to find all so bright and cheerful, and 
so near his own home too. His horses' hoofs struck upon 
the okl wooden bridge. The sound went to his heart. It 
was. here his mother took her last leave of him, and blessed 
him. 

As he passed through the village, there was a feeling of 
strangeness, that every thing should be just as it was when 
he left it. There was an undefined thought floating in Ins 
mind, that his mother's state should produce a visible change 
in all that he had been familiar with. But the boys were at 
their noisy games in the street, the labourers returning, 
talking together, from their work, and the old men sitting 
quietly at their doors. He concealed himself as well as he 
could, and bade Thomas hasten on. 

As they drew near the house, the night was shutting in 
about it, and there was a melancholy gusty sound in the 
trees. Arthur felt as if approaching his mother's tomb. 
He entered the parlour. All was as gloomy and still as a 
deserted house. Presently he heard a slow, cautious step, over 
head. It was in his mother's chamber. His sister had seen 
him from the window. She hurried down, and threw her 
arms about her brother's neck, without uttering a word. As 
soon as he could speak, he asked, " Is she alive ?" — lie 
could not say, my mother. " She is sleeping," answered 
his sister, " and must not know to-night that you are here ; 
she is too weak to bear it now." " I will go look at 
her then, while she sleeps," said he, drawing his handker- 



43 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 1(5. 

chief from his face. His sister's sympathy had made him 
shed the first tears which had fallen from him that dav, and 
he was more composed. 

He entered the chamber w'.th a deep and still awe upon 
him ; and as he drew near his mother's bed-side, and looked 
on her pale, placid, and motionless face, he scarcely dared 
breathe, lest lie should disturb the secret communion that 
the soul was holding with the world into which it was about 
to enter. The loss that he was abofcit suffering, and his 
heavv grief, were ail forgotten in the feeling of a holy insiii- 
ration, and he was, as it were, in the midst of invisible spir 
its, ascending and descending. His mother's lips moved 
slightly as she uttered an indistinct sound. He drew back, 
and his sister went near to her, and she spoke. It was the 
same gentle voice which he had known and felt from his 
childhood. The exaltation of his soul left him — he sunk 
down — and his misery went over him like a flood, 



LESSON XVI. 

The same concluded* 

m 

The next day, as soon as his mother became composed 
enough to see him, Arthur went into her chamber. She 
stretched out her feeble hand, and turned towards him, with 
a look that blessed him. It was the short struggle of a 
meek spirit. She covered her eyes with her hand, and the 
tears trickled down between her pale, thin lingers. As soon 
as she became tranquil, she spoke of the gratitude she felt 
at being spared to see him before she died. 

"My dear mother," said Arthur — but he could not ge 
on. His voice was choked, his eyes filled with tears, and 
the agony of his soul was visible in his f ;ce. " Do not be so 
afflicted, Arthur, at the loss of me. We are not to part 
for ever. Remember, too, how comfortable and happy you 
have made my days, Heaven, I know, will bless so good a 
son as you have been to me. You will have that consola- 
tion, my son, which visits but a few — you w r ill be able to 
look back upon your past conduct to me, not without pain 
only, but with a holy joy. And think hereafter of the peace 
of mind you give me, now that I am about to die, in the 
thought that I am leaving your sister to your love and care 
So long as you live, she will find you a father and brother 



Lesson 16.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 40 

to her.'' She paused for a moment. " I have always felt 
that 1 could meet death with composure ; but I did not 
know," she said, with a tremulous voice, her lips quivering 
— " I did not know how hard a thing it would be to leave 
my children, till now that the hour has come." 

After a little while, she spoke of his father, and said, she 
had lived with the belief that he was mindful of her, and 
with the conviction, which grew stronger as death approach 
ed, that she should meet him in another world. She said 
but little more, as she grew weaker and weaker e~ery hour. 
Arthur sat by in silence, holding her hand. He saw that she 
was sensible he was watching her countenance, for every 
now and then she opened her dull eye and looked towards 
him, and endeavoured to smile. 

The day wore slowly away. The sun went down, and 
the melancholy and still twilight came on. Nothing was 
heard but trie ticking of the watch, telling him with a re- 
sistless power, that the hour was drawing nigh. He gasp- 
ed, as if under some invisible, gigantick grasp, which it was 
not for human strength to struggle against. 

It was now quite dark, and by the pale light of the night- 
lamp in the chimney corner, the furniture in the room threw 
hiicre and uncouth figures over the walls. All was unsub- 
stantial and visionary, and the shadowy ministers of death 

ml ' ► 

appeared gathering round, waiting the duty of the hour 

appointed them. Arthur shuddered for a moment with 
superstitious awe ; but the solemn elevation which a good 
man feels at the sight of the dying, took possession of him, 
and he became calm again. 

The approach of death has so much which is exalting, 
that our grief i>, for the time, forgotten. And could one 
who had seen Arthur a few hours before, now have looked 
upon the grave and grand repose of his countenance, he 
would hardly have known him. 

The livid hue of death was fast spreading over his moth- 
er's face. He stooped forward to catch the sound of her 
breathing. It grew quick and faint. — " My mother." — She 
opened her eyes, for the last time, upon him — a faint flush 
passed over her cheek — there was the serenity of an angel 
in her look — her hand just pressed his. It was all over. 

His spirit had endured to its utmost. It sunk down from 
its unearthly height ; and with his face upon his mother's 
pillow, he wept like a child. He arose with a violent effort, 
aud stepping into the adjoining chamber, spoke f> his aunt. 

5 



SO THE AMERICAN [Lesson W. 

" It is past," said he. " Is my sister asleep % — Well, then, 
Jet her have rest ; she needs it." He then went to his 
own chamber and shut himself in. 

It is a merciful thing that the intense suffering of sensitive 
"nincte n-^kes to itself a relief. Violent grief brings on a 
orpowr, and an indistinctness, and dimness, as from long 
watching. It is not till the violence of affliction has subsid- 
ed, and gentle and soothing thoughts can find room to mix 
with our sorrow, and holy consolations can minister to us, 
that we are able to know fully our loss, and see clearly what 
has been torn away from our affections. It was so with 
Arthur. Unconnected and strange thoughts, with melan- 
choly but half-formed images, were floating in his mind, 
and now and then a gleam of light would pass through it, as 
if he had been in a troubled trance, and all was right again. 
His worn and tired feelings at last found rest in sleep. 

It is an impression which we cannot rid ourselves of if 
we would, when sitting by the body of a friend, that he has 
still a consciousness of our presence — that though the com- 
mon concerns of the world have no more to do with him, 
he has still a love and care of us. The face which we had 
so long been familiar with, when it was all life and motion, 
seems only in a state of rest. We know not how to make 
it real to ourselves* that the body before us is not a living 
thing. 

Arthur was in such a state of mind, as he sat alone in the 
room by his mother, the day after her death. It was as if 
her soul had been in paradise, and was now holding com- 
munion with pure spirits there, though it still abode in the 
body that lay before him. He felt as if sanctified by the 
presence of one to whom the other world had been 
open — as if under the love and protection of one made holy. 
The religions reflections that his mother had early taught 
htm, gave him strength; a spiritual composure stole over 
him, and he found himself prepared to perform the Ia< offi- 
ces to the dead. 

Is it not enough to see our friends die, and part Willi them 
for the remainder of our davs— -to reflect that we shall hear 
their voices no more, and that they will never look on us 
again — -to see that turning to corruption which was but just 
now alive, and eloquent, and beautiful with all the sensa- 
tions of the soul 1 Are our sorrows so sacred and peculiar 
as to make the world as vanity to us, and the men of it as 
strangersj and shall we not be left to our afflictions for a few 



Lesson 16.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 51 

hours ? Must we be brought out at such a time to the con- 
cerned, or careless gaze of those we know not, or be made 
to bear the formal proffers of consolations from acquaint- 
ances who will go away and forget it all 1 Shall we not be 
suffered a little while, a holy and healing communion with 
the dead 1 Must the kindred stillness and gloom of our 
dwelling be changed for the solemn show of the pall, the 
talk of the passers-by, and the broad and piercing light of 
the common sun 1 Must the ceremonies of the world wait 
on us even to the open graves of our friends ? 

When the hour came, Arthur rose with a firm step and 
fixed eye, though his whole face was tremulous with the 
struggle within him. He went to his sister, and took her 
arm within his. The bell struck. Its heavy, undulating 
sound rolled forward like a sea. He felt a violent beating 
through his Avhole frame, which shook him that he reeled. 
It was but a momentary weakness. He moved on, passing 
those who surrounded him, as if they had been shadows. 
While he followed the slow hearse, there was a vacancy in 
his eye as it rested on the coffin, which showed him hardly 
conscious of what was before him. His spirit was with his 
mother's. As he reached the grave, he shrunk back and 
turned deadly pale ; but sinking his head upon his breast, 
and drawing his hat over his face, he stood motionless as a 
statue till the service was over. 

He had gone through all that the forms of society requir- 
ed of iiiffi. For as painful as the effort was, and as \\n\* 
suited as such forms were to his own thoughts upon the sub- 
ject, yet he could not do any thing that might appear to the 
world like a want of reverence and respect for his mother. 
The scene was ended, and the inward struggle over ; and 
now that he was left to himself, the greatness of his loss 
came up full and distinctly before him. 

It was a dreary and chilly evening when he returned 
home. When he entered the house from which his mother 
had gone for ever, a sense of dreary emptiness oppressed 
him, as if his very abode had been deserted by every living 
thing. He walked into his mother's chamber. The naked 
oedstead, and the chair in which she used to sit, were all 
that was left in the room. As he threw himself back into 
the chair, he groaned in the bitterness of his spirit. A feel- 
ing of forlornness came over him which was not to be reliev- 
ed by tears. She, whom he had watched over in her dying 
hour, and whom he had talked to as she lay before him in 



52 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 17 

death, as if she could hear and answer him, had gone from 
him. Nothing was left for the senses to fasten fondly on, and 
time had not jet taught him to think of her only as a spirit. 
But time and holy endeavours brought this consolation ; and 
the little of life that a wasting disease left him, was past by 
him, when alone, in thoughtful tranquillity ; and amongst his 
friends he appeared with that gentle cheerfulness which, 
before his mother's death, had been a part of his nature. 



LESSON XVII. 

Lines to a child on his voyage to France, to meet his Father. — 

Christian Discjtle. 

Lo, how impatiently upon the tide 

The proud ship tosses, eager to be free. 

Her flag streams wildly, and her fluttering sails 

Pant to be on their flight. A few hours more, 

And she will move in stately grandeur on, 

Cleaving her path majestick through the flood, 

As if she were a goddess of the deep. 

O, 'tis a thought sublime, that man can force 

A path upon the waste, can find a way 

Where all is trackless, and compel the winds, 

Those freest' agents of Almighty power, 

To lend their untamed winsrs, and bear him on 

To distant climes. Thou, William, still art young, 

And dost not see the wonder. Thou wilt tread 

The buoyant deck, and look upon the flood, 

Unconscious of the high sublimity, 

As 'twere a common thing — thy soul unawed, 

Thy childish sports unchecked : while thinking man 

Shrinks back into himself — himself so mean 

'Mid things so vast, — and, rapt in deepest awe, 

Bends to the might of that mysterious Power, 

Who holds the waters in his hand, and guides 

The ungovernable winds. — 'Tis not in man 

To look unmoved upon that heaving waste, 

Which, from horizon to horizon spread, 

Meets the o'er-arching heavens on every side, 

Blending their hues in distant faintness there. 



Lesson IS.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 53 

'Tirf wonderful ! — and yet, my hoy, just such 
Is life. Life is a sea as fathomless, 
As wide, as terrible, and yet sometimes 
As calm and beautiful. The light of Heaven 
Smiles on it, and 'tis decked with every hue 
Of glory and of joy . Anon, dark clouds 
Arise, contending winds of fate go forth, 
And hope sits weeping o'er a general wreck. 

And thou must sail upon this sea, a long, 
Eventful voyage. The wise may suffer wreck, 
The foolish must* O ! then, be early wise ! 
Learn from the mariner his skilful art 
To ride upon the waves, and catch the breeze, 
And dare the threatening storm, and trace a path 
'Mid countless dangers, to the destined port 
Unerringly secure. O I learn from him 
To station quick-eyed Prudence at the helm, 
To guard thyself from Passion's sudden blasts, 
And make Religion thy magnetick guide, 
Which, though it trembles as it lowly lies, 
Points to the light that changes not, in Heaven. 

Farewell — Heaven smile propitious on thy course, 
And favouring breezes waft thee to the arms 
Of love paternal. — Yes, and more than this — 
Blest be thy passage o'er the changing sea 
Of life ; the clouds be few t lat intercept 
The light of joy ; the waves roll gently on 
Beneath thy bark of hope, and bear thee safe 
To meet in peace thine other Father, — God. 



LESSON XVIII. 

Inscription for the entrance into a wood. — Bryawt. 

Stranger, if thou hast learnt a truth which needs 
Experience more than reason, that the world 
Is full of guilt and misery ; and hast known 
Enough of all its sorrows, crimes and cares 
To tire thee of it— enter this wild wood 
And view the haunts of Nature. The calm shade 
Shall bring a kindred calm? and the sweet breeze 

5* 



54 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 19. 

That makes the green leaves dance, shall waft a balm 

To thy sick heart. Thou wilt find nothing here 

Of all that pain'd thee in the haunts of men, 

And made thee loathe thy life. The primal curse 

Fell, it is true, upon the unsinning earth, 

But not in vengeance. Misery is wed 

To guilt. And hence these shades are still the abodes 

Of undissembled gladness; the thick roof 

Of green and stirring branches, is alive 

And musical w^ith birds, that sing and sport 

In wantonness of spirit ; while, below, 

The squirrel, with raised paws and form erect, 

Chirps merrily. Throngs of insects in the glade 

Try their thin wings* and dance in the warm beam 

That waked them into life. Even the green trees 

Partake the deep contentment ; as they bend 

To the soft winds, the sun from the blue sky 

Looks in, and sheds a blessing on the scene. 

Scarce less the cleft-born wild-flower seems to enjoy 

Existence, than the winged plunderer 

That sucks its sweets. The massy rocks themselves, - 

The old and ponderous trunks of prostrate trees, 

That lead from knoll to knoll, a causey rude, 

Or bridge the sunken brook, and their dark roots 

With all their earth upon them, twisting high, 

Breathe fixed tranquillity. The rivulet 

Sends forth glad sounds, t nd tripping o'er its bed 

Of pebbly sands, or leaping down the rocks, 

Seems with continuous laughter to rejoice 

In its own being. Softly tread the marge, 

Lest from her midway perch, thou scare the wren 

That dips her bill in water. The cool wind, 

That stirs the stream in play, shall come to thee, 

Like one that loves thee, nor will let thee pass 

Ungreeted, and shall give its light embrace. 



LESSON XIX. 

• ■ « 

Feelings excited by a long voyage— visit to a new continent.— 

W. Irving. 

To an American visiting Europe, the long voyage he has 
to make is an excellent preparative. From the moment 



Lesson 19.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 55 

you lose sight of the land you have left, all is vacancy un- 
til you step on the opposite shore, and are launched at onee 
into the bustle and novelties of another world. 

I have said that at sea all is vacancy. I should correct 
the expression. To one given uj> to day-dreaming, and 
fond of losing himself in reveries, a sea voyage is full of 
subjects for meditation ; but then they are the wonders of the 
deep, and of the air, and rather tfend to abstract the mind 
from worldly themes. I delighted to loll over the quarter- 
.ailmg, or climb to the main-top on a calm day, and muse 
for hours together on the tranquil bosom of a summer's sea; 
or to gaze upon the piles of golden clouds just peering above 
the horizon, fancy them some fairy realms, and people them 
with a creation of my own, or to watch the gentle undulat- 
ing billows rolling their silver volumes, as if to die away on 
those happy shores. 

There was a delicious sensation of mingled security and 
awe, with which T looked down from my giddy height on the 
monsters of the deep at their uncouth gambols. Shoals 
of porpoises tumbling about the bow of the ship ; the gram- 
pus slowly heaving his huge form above the surface ; or 
the ravenous shark, darting like a spectre, through the 
blue waters. My imagination would conjure up all that I 
had heard or read of the waterv world beneath me ; of the 
finny herds that roam its fathomless valleys ; of shapeless 
monsters that lurk among the verv foundations of the earth ; 
and those wild phantasms that swell the tales of fishermen 
and sailors. 

Sometimes a distant sail gliding along .the edge of the 
ocean would be another theme of idle speculation. How 
interesting this fragment of a world hastening to rejoin the 
great mass of existence ! What a glorious monument of 
human invention, that has thus triumphed over wind and 
wave ; has brought the ends of the earth in communion ; 
has established an interchange of blessings, pouring into the 
steril regions of the north all the luxuries of the south ; 
diffused the light of knowledge and the charities of cul- 
tivated life; and has thus bound together those scattered 
portions of the human race, between which nature seemed 
to have thrown an insurmountable barrier ! 

We one day descried some shapeless object drifting at 
a distance. At sea, every thing that breaks the monotony 
of the surrounding expanse attracts attention. It proved 
to be the mast of a ship that must have been completely 



56 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 19. 

wrecked : for there were the remains of handkerchiefs, by 
which some of the crew had fastened themselves to this 
spar, to prevent their being washed off by the waves. 
There was no trace by winch the name of the ship could 
be ascertained. The wreck had evidently drifted about for 
many months ; clusters of shell-fish had fastened about it, 
and long sea-weeds flaunted at its sides. But where, 
thought I, is the crew ? Their struggle lias long been 
over ; — they have gone down amidst the roar of the tem- 
pest ; — their bones lie whitening in the caverns of the deep. 
Silence — oblivion, like the waves, have closed over them, 
and no one can tell the story of their end. 

What sighs have been wafted after that ship ! what pray- 
ers offered up at the deserted fire-side of home ! How 
often has the mistress, the wife, and the mother, pored over 
the daily news, to catch some casual intelligence of this 
rover of the deep ! How has expectation darkened into 
anxiety — anxiety into dread — and dread into despair ! Alas ! 
not one memento shall ever return for love to cherish. All 
that shall ever be known is, that she sailed from her port, 
"and was never heard of more." 

The sight of the wreck, as usual, gave rise to many dis- 
mal anecdotes. This was particularly the case in the even- 
ing, when the weather, which had hitherto been fair, began 
to look wild and threatening, and gave indications of one 
of those sudden storms that will sometimes break in upon 
the serenity of a summer voyage. As we sat round the 
dull light of a lamp, in the cabin, that made the gloom 
more ghastly, qvery one had his tale of shipwreck and dis- 
aster. I was particularly struck with a short one related 
by the captain. 

" As I was once sailing," said he, " in a fine stout ship 
across the banks of Newfoundland, one of the heavy fogs 
that prevail in those parts rendered it impossible for me to 
see far a-head, even in the day-time ; but at night the weath- 
er was so thick that we could not distinguish any object 
at twice the length of our ship. I kept lights at the mast- 
head, and a constant watch forward to look out for fishing- 
smacks, which are accustomed to lie at anchor on the banks. 
The wind was blowing a smacking breeze, and we were go- 
ing at a great rate through the water. Suddenly the watch 
gave the alarm of "a sail a-head !" but it was scarcely ut- 
tered till we were upon her. She was a small schooner at 
anchor, with her broadside towards us. The crew were all 



Lesson 19.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 5~ 

asleep, and had neglected to hoist a light. We struck her 

just a-mid-ships. The force, the size, and weight of our 
vessel, bore her down below the waves ; we passed over 
her, and were hurried on our course. 

As the crashing wreck was sinking beneath lis, I had a 
glimpse of two or three half-naked wretches, rushing from 
her cabin ; they had just started from their beds to be 
swallowed shrieking by the waves. I heard their drowning 
cry mingling with the wind. The blast that bore it to our 
ears, swept us out of all further hearing. I shall never for- 
get that cry ! It was some time before we could put the 
ship about, she was under such headway. We returned, as 
nearly as we could guess, to the place where the smack was 
anchored. We cruised about for several hours in the dense 
fo«r. We fired several guns, and listened if we might hear 
the halloo of any survivors : but all was silent — we never 
heard nor saw any thing of them more !*' 

It was a fine sunny morning when the thrilling cry of 
'•land !" was given from the mast-head. I question wheth- 
er Columbus, when he discovered the new world, felt a 
more delicious throng of sensations than rush into an Amer- 
ican's bosom when he first comes in sight of Europe. 
There is n volume of associations in the very name. It is 
the land of promise, teeming with every thing of which Ins 
childhood has heard, or on which his studious ears have 
pondered. 

From that time until the period cf arrival, it was all fever- 
ish excitement. The ships of war that prowled like guar- 
dian giants round the coast ; the headlands of Ireland, 
stretching out into the channel : the Welsh mountains, tow- 
ering into the clouds ; all were objects of intense interest. 
As we sailed up the Mersey, I reconnoitred the shores with 
a telescope. My eve dwelt with delight on neat cottages, 
with their trim shrubberies and green grass plots. I saw the 
mouldering ruins of an abbev overrun with iw, and the ta- 
per spire of a village church rising from the brow of a neigh- 
bouring hill — all were characteristick of England. 

The tide and wind were so favourable, that the ship was 
enabled to come at once at the pier. It was thronged with 
people ; some idle lookers-on, others eager expectants of 
friends or relatives. I could distinguish the merchant to 
whom the ship belonged. I knew him by his Calculating 
brow and restless air. His hands were thrust into his pock- 
ets: he was whistling thoughtfully, and walking to and fro. 



58, THE AMERICAN [Lesson 20. 

a small space having been accorded to him by the crowd, 
in deference to his temporary importance. There were 
repeated cheerings and salutations interchanged between the 
shore and the ship, as friends happened to recognise each 
other. 

But I particularly noted one young woman of humble 
dress, but interesting demeanour. — She was leaning forward 
from among the crowd ; her eye hurried over the ship as it 
neared the shore, to catch some wished-for countenance. 
She seemed disappointed and agitated, when I heard a faint 
voice call her name. It was from a poor sailor, w^ho had 
been ill all the voyage, and had excited the sympathy of 
every one on board. When the weather was fine, his mess- 
mates had spread a mattress for him on deck in the 
shade ; but of late his illness had so increased, that he had 
taken to his hammock, and only breathed a wish that he 
might see his wife before he died. 

He had been helped on deck as we came up the river, 
and was now leaning against the shrouds, with a counte- 
nance so wasted, so pale, and so ghastly, that it is no w r onder 
even the eye of affection did not recognise him. But at the 
sound of his voice, her eye darted on his features, it read at 
once a whole volume of sorrow ; she clasped her hands, 
uttered a faint shriek, and stood wringing them in silent 
agony. 

quaintances — the greetings of friends — tho consultations of 
men of business. I alone was solitary and idle. I had no 
friend to meet, no cheering to receive. I stepped upon the 
land of my forefathers — but felt that I was a stranger in the 
land. 



LESSON XX. 

Brief description of Pompey r s Pillar — Address and fear- 
lessness of British Sailors. — Irwin. 

In visiting Alexandria, what most engages the attention 
of travellers, is the pillar of Pompey, as it is commonly 
called, situated at a miarter of a league from the southern 
gate. It is compose u of red granite. The capital is Co- 
rinthian, with palm leaves, and not 'ndented. It is nine feet 



Lesson 20.] FIRST CLASS COOK. 50 

high. The shaft and the upper member of the base are 
of one piece of 90 feet long, and nine in diameter. The 
base is a square of about 15 feet on each side. This block 
of marble, 60 feet in circumference, rests on two layers of 
stone bound together with lead ; which, however, has not 
prevented the Arabs from forcing out several of them, to 
search for an imaginary treasure. 

The whole column is 114 feet high. It is perfectly well 
polished, and only a little shivered on the eastern side. Noth 
ing can equal the majesty of this monument : seen from a 
distance, it overtops the town, and serves as a signal for ves- 
sels. Approaching it nearer, it produces an astonishment 
mixed with awe. One can never be tired with admiring the 
beauty of the capital, the length of the shaft, or the extraor- 
dinary simplicity of the pedestal. This last has been some- 
what damaged by the instruments of travellers, who are cu- 
rious to possess a relick of this antiquity ; and one of the 
volutes of the column was im maturely brought down about 
twelve years ago, by a prank of some English captains, 
which is thus related by Mr. Irwin. 

These jolly sons of Neptune had been pushing about the 
can on board one of the ships in the harbour, until a strange 
freak entered into one of their brains. The eccentricity of 
the thought occasioned it immediately to be adopted ; and 
its apparent impossibility was but a spur for putting it 
into execution. The boat was ordered ; and with proper 
implements for the attempt, these enterprising heroes push- 
ed ashore to drink a bowl of punch on the top of Pompey's 
Pillar! At the spot they arrived ; and many contrivances 
were proposed to accomplish the desired Joint. But their 
labour was vain ; and they began to despair of success, 
when the genius who struck out the frolick happily suggest- 
ed the means of performing it. 

A man was despatched to the city for a paper kite. The 
inhabitants were by this time apprised of what was going 
forward, and flocked in crowds to be witnesses of the 
address and boldness of the English. The grovernour of 
Alexandria was told that those seamen were about to pull 
down Pompey's Pillar. But whether he gave them credit 
for their respect to the Roman warrictir, or to the Turkish 
government, lie left them to themselves, and politely an- 
swered, that the English were too great patriots to injure 
the remains of Pompey. He knew little, however, of the 
disposition of the people who were engaged in this under 



m THE AMERICAN [Lesson 21. 

taking. Had the Turkish empire risen in opposition, it 
would not at that moment have deterred them. 

The kite was brought, and flown so directly over the Pil- 
lar, that when it fell on the other side, the string lodged 
upon the capital. The chief obstacle was now overcome. 
A two-inch rope was tied to one end of the string, and drawn 
over the pillar by the end to which the kite was affixed. 
By this rope one of the seamen ascended to the top ; and in 
less than an hour a kind of shroud was constructed, hy 
which the whole company went up, and drank their punch 
amid the shouts of the astonished multitude. To the eye 
below, the capital of the pillar does not appear capable of 
holding more than one man upon it ; but our seamen found 
it could contain no less than eight persons very conveni- 
ently. 

It is astonishing that no accident befell these madcaps, in 
a situation so elevated, that it would have turned a land 
man giddy in his sober senses. The only detriment which 
the pillar received, was the loss of the volute before men- 
tioned, which came down with a thundering sound, and was 
carried to England by one of the captains, as a present to a 
lady who had commissioned him for a piece of the pillar. 
The discovery which they made amply compensated for 
this mischief; as, without their evidence, the world would 
not have known at this hour that there was originally a 
statue on this pillar, one foot and ancle of which are still 
remaining. The statue must hare been of a gigantick 
size, to have appeared of a man's proportion at so great a 
height. 

There are circumstances in this story which might give it 
an air of fiction, were it not authenticated beyond all doubt. 
Besides the testimonies of many eye-witnesses, the adven- 
turers themselves have left us a token of the fact, by the ini- 
tials of their names, which are very legible in black paint 
just beneath the capital. 



LESSON XXI. 

hit cresting account of William Penn's treaty with the Ameri- 
can Indians, previous to his settling in Pennsylvania. — 
irlDiNB^niGH Review. 
The country assigned to him by the royal charter was yet 

full of its original inhabitants ; and the principles of Will- 



Lesson 21.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 01 

mm Perm did not allow him to look upon that gift as a 
wan-ant to dispossess the first proprietors of the land. He 
had accordingly appointed his commissioners, the preceding 1 
year, to treat with them for the fair purchase of a part of 
their lands, and for their joint possession of the remainder ; 
and the terms of the settlement being now nearly agreed 
upon, lie proceeded, very soon after his arrival, to conclude 
the settlement, and solemnly to pledge his faith, and to rat- 
ify and confirm the treaty in sight both of the Indians and 
planters, 

For this purpose a grand convocation of the tribes had 
been appointed near the spot where Philadelphia now 
stands ; and it was agreed that he and the presiding Sa- 
chems should meet and exchange faith, under the spread- 
ing branches of a prodigious elm-tree, that grew on the 
bank of the river. On the day appointed, accordingly, an 
innumerable multitude of the Indians assembled in that 
neighbourhood ; and were seen, with their dark visages and 
brandished arms, moving, in vast swarms, in the depth of 
the woods which then over shaded the whole of that now 
cultivated region. 

On the other hand, William Penn, with a moderate at- 
tendance of friends, advanced to meet them. He came of 
course unarmed — in his usual plain dress — without banners, 
or mace, or guard, or carriages ; and only distinguished 
from his companions by wearing a blue sash of silk net- 
work (which it seems is still preserved by Mr. Kett of Seeth- 
ing-hall, near Norwich,) and by having in his hand a roll 
of parchment, on which was engrossed the confirmation of 
the treaty of purchase and amity. As soon as he drew 
near the spot where the Sachems were assembled, the 
whole multitude of Indians threw down their weapons, and 
seated themselves on the ground in groups, each under his 
own chieftain ; and the presiding chief intimated to William 
Penn, that the nations were ready to hear him. 

Having been thus called upon, he began : ;c The Great 
Spirit," he said, " who made him and them, who ruled the 
heaven and the earth, and who knew the innermost thoughts 
of man, knew that he and his friends had a hearty desire 
to live in peace and friendship with them, and to serve them 
to the utmost of their power. It was not their custom to 
use hostile weapons against their fellow-creatures, for which 
reason they had come unarmed. Their object was not to do 
injury, and thus provoke the Great Spirit, but. to do good. 

G 



m THE AMERICAN [Lesson 21 

They were then met on the broad pathway of good faith 
and good will, so that no advantage was to be taken on either 
side, but all was to be openness, brotherhood, and love." 

After these and other words, he unrolled the parchment, 
and by means of the same interpreter, conveyed to them, 
article by article, the conditions of the purchase, and the 
words of the compact then made for their eternal union. 
Among other things, they were not to be molested in their 
lawful pursuits even in the territory they had alienated, for 
it was to be common to them and the English. They were 
to have the same liberty to do all things therein relating to 
the improvement of their grounds, and the providing of sus- 
tenance for their families, which the English had. If any 
disputes should arise between the two, they should be set- 
tled by twelve persons, half of whom should be English, 
and half Indians. 

He then paid them for the land, and made them many 
presents besides from the merchandise which had been 
spread before them. Having done this, he laid the roll 
of parchment on the ground, observing again, that the 
ground should be common to both people. He then added, 
that he would not do as the Marylanders did, that is, call 
them Children or Brothers only ; for often parents were apt 
to whip their children too severely, and brothers sometimes 
would differ ; neither would he compare the friendship be- 
tween him and them to a chain, for the rain might some- 
times rust it, or a tree might fall and break it ; but he 
should consider them as the same flesh and blood with the 
Christians, and the same as if one man's body were to be 
divided into two parts. He then took up the parchment, and 
presented it to the Sachem who wore the horn in the chap- 
let, and desired him and the other Sachems to preserve it 
carefully for three generations, that their children might 
know tv hat had passed between them, just as if he himself 
had remained with them to repeat it. 

The Indians, in return, made long and stately harangues 
— of which, however, no more seems to have been remem- 
bered, but that "they pledged themselves to live in love 
with William Perm and his children, as long as the sun and 
moon should endure." And thus ended this famous treaty ; 
— of which Voltaire has remarked, with so much truth and 
severity, " that it was the only one ever concluded between 
savages and Christians that was not ratified by an oath — 
and the only one that never was broken !" 



Lesson 22.] FIRST CLASS BOOK- 63 

Such, indeed, was the spirit in which the negotiation was 
entered into, and the corresponding settlement conducted, 
that, for the space of more than seventy years, and so long 
indeed as the Quakers retained the chief power in the 
government, the peace and amity which had been thus sol- 
emnly promised and concluded, never was violated ; and 
a large and most striking, though solitary example afforded, 
of the facility with which they who are really sincere and 
friendly in their own views, may live in harmony even with 
those who are supposed to he peculiarly fierce and faithless. 

We cannot brin£ ourselves to wish that there were notte- 
ing but Quakers in the world, because we fear it would be 
insupportably dull ; but when we consider what tremendous 
evils daily arise from the petulance and profligacy, the am- 
bition and irritability, of sovereigns and ministers, we can- 
not help thinking, it would be the most efficacious of all re- 
forms to choose all those ruling personages out of that plain* 
pacifick, and sober-minded sect. 



LESSON XXII. 

Visit to the falls of 3fissour& — Edinburgh Review* 

As Captains Lewis and Clark, approached the moun- 
tains, and had got considerably beyond the walls already 
described, at the meridian nearly of 110°, and the parallel 
of about. 47° 20', the same almost as that of the station of 
the Mandans, there was a bifurcation of the river, which 
threw them into considerable doubt as to which was the 
true Missouri, and the course which it behooved them to 
pursue. The northernmost possessed most strongly the 
characters of that river, and the men seemed all to en- 
tertain no doubt that it was the stream which they ought 
to follow. 

The commanders of the expedition, however, did not de- 
cide, till after they had reconnoitred the country from the 
higher grounds, and then determined to follow the southern 

CD CJ ' 

branch. On the eleventh of June, 1806, Capt. Lewis set 
out on foot with four men, in order to explore this river. 
Thev proceeded till the 13th, when, finding that the river 
bore considerably to the south, fearing that they were in an 



64 THE AMERICAN \ Lesson 22. 

errour, they changed their course, and proceeded across the 
plain. 

In this direction Captain Lewis had gone about two miles, 
when his ears were saluted with the agreeable sound of a 
fall of water ; and as he advanced, a spray, which seemed 
driven by the high southwest wind, rose above the plain like 
a column of smoke, and vanished in an instant. Towards 
this point, he directed his steps ; and the noise, increasing 
as he approached, soon became too tremendous to be mis- 
taken for any thing but the great falls of the Missouri. 

Having travelled seven miles after hearing the sound, he 

CD O ' 

reached the falls about 12 o'clock. The hills, as he ap- 
proached, were difficult of access, and about 200 feet high. 
Down these he hurried with impatience ; and seating him- 
self on some rocks under the centre of the falls, he enjoyed 
the sublime spectacle of this stupendous cataract, which, 
since the creation, had been lavishing its magnificence on 
the desert. 

These falls extend, in all, over a distance of nearly twelve 
nries ; and the medium breadth of the river varies from 
300 co 600 yards. The principal fall is near the lower ex- 
tremity, and is upwards of 80 feet perpendicular. The 
river is here nearly 300 yards wide, with perpendicular cliffs 
on each side, not less than 100 feet high. For 90 or 100 
yards from the left cliff, the water falls in one smooth, even 
sheet, over a precipice at least 80 feet high. The remaining 
part of the river precipitates itself also with great rapidity ; 
but being received, as it falls, by irregular and projecting 
rocks, forms a splendid prospect of white foam, 200 yards 
in length, and 80 in perpendicular elevation. 

The spray is dissipated in a thousand shapes, flying up in 
high columns, and collecting into large masses, which the 
sun Vlorns with ail the colouring of the rainbow. The fall, 
just described, must be one of the most magnificent and pic- 
turesque that is any where to be found. It has often been 
disputed, whether a cataract, in which the water fails in one 
sheet, or one where it is dashed irregularly among the rocks- 
is the finer object. It was reserved for the Missouri to re- 
solve this doubt, by exhibiting both at once in the greatest 
magnificence. 

There is another cascade, of about 47 feet, higher up the 
river, and the last of all is 26 feet ; but the succession of 
inferiour falls, and of rapids of very great declivity, is as- 
tonishingly great; s~> that, from the first to the last, the 



Lesson 2&] FIRST CLASS BOOK 65 

whole descent of the river is 38-i feet. — i; Just below the 
falls," says Captain Lewis, " is a little island in the river, 
well covered with timber. Here, on a cotton-wood tree, 
on ea^le had fixed its nest, and seemed the undisputed mis- 
tress o£a spot, to invade which neither man nor beast could 
venture across the gulf that surrounds it; while it is far- 
ther secured bv the mist that rises from the falls. This sol- 
itary bird has not escaped the observation of the Indians, 
who made the eagle's nest a part of their description of the 
falls which they gave us, and which proves now to be cor- 
rect in almost every particular, except that they did not do 
justice to their height." 

The river above the falls is quite unruffled and smooth, 
with numerous herds of buffaloes feeding on the plains 
around it. These plains open out on both sides, so that, it 
is not. improbable that they mark the bottom of an ancient 
lake, the outlet of which the river is still in the act of cut- 
ting down, and will require many ages to accomplish its 
work, or to reduce the whole to a moderate, and uniform 
declivity. The eagle may then be dispossessed of his an 
cient and solitary domain. 



LESSON XXIII. 

On early rising.' — Hurdis. 

Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed* 
The breath of night's destructive to the hue 
Of every flower that blows. Go to the field, 
And ask the humble daisy why it sleeps, 
Soon as the sun departs : Why close the eyes 
Of blossoms infinite, ere the still moon 
Her oriental veil puts off ? Think why, 
Nor let the sweetest blossom be exposed 
That nature boasts, to night's unkindly damp. 
Well may it droop, and all its freshness lose, 
Compelled to taste the rank and poisonous steam 
Of midnight theatre, and morning ball. 
Give to repose the solemn hour she claims ; 
And, from the forehead of the morning, steal 
The sweet occasion. O ! there is a charm 
That morning has, that gives the brow of age 
A smack of youth, and makes the lip of vou-Ji 

a * 



66 THE AMERICAN {Lesson 21 

Breathe perfumes exquisite. Expect it not, 
Ye who till noon upon a down-bed lie, 
Indulging feverish sleep, or, wakeful, dream 
Of happiness no mortal heart has felt, 
But in the regions of romance. Ye fair, 
Like you it must be wooed or never won, 
And, being lost, it is in vain ye ask 
For milk of roses and Olympian dew. 
Cosmetick art no tincture can afford, 
The faded features to restore : no chain, 
Be it of gold, and strong as adamant, 
Can fetter beauty to the fair one's will. 



i LESSON XXIV. 

A summer morning. — Thomson. 

The meek-eyed Morn appears, mother of dews, 
At first faint gleaming in the dappled east : 
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow ; 
And, from before the lustre of her face, 
White break the clouds away. With quickened step, 
Brown Night retires : Young Day pours in apace, 
And opens all the lawny prospect wide. 
The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top, 
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn. 
Bkie, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine ; 
And from the bladed field the fearful hare 
Limps awkward : while along the forest glade 
The wild deer trip, and often, turning, gaze 
At early passenger. Musick awakes 
The native voice of undissembled joy ; 
And thick around the woodland hymns arise. 
Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves 
His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells ; 
And from the crowded fold, in order, drives 
His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn. 
Falsely luxurious, will not Man awake ; 
And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy 
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, 
To meditation due and sacred song 1 
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise I 
r£> o ne i>. dead oblivion, losing half 



Lesson 24.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 67 

The fleeting moments of too short a life ; 

Total extinction of the enlightened soul ! 

Or else to feverish vanity alive, 

Wildered, and tossing through distempered dreams 1 

Who would in sueh a jrloomv state remain 

Longer than Nature craves ; when every Muse, 

And every blooming pleasure wait without, 

To bless the wildly devious morning walk 1 

But yonder comes the powerful King of Day, 

Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud, 

The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow 

Illumed with fluid gold, his near approach 

Betoken glad. Lo, now, apparent all, 

Aslant the dew-bright earth, and coloured air, 

He looks in boundless majesty abroad, 

And sheds the shining day, that burnished plays 

On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams, 

High-gleaming from afar. Prime cheerer, Light ! 

Of all material beings first, and best ! 

Efflux divine ! Nature's resplendent robe ! 

Without whose vesting beauty ail were wrapt 

In unessential gloom ; and thou, O Sun ! 

Soul of surrounding worlds ! in whom best seen 

Shines out thy Maker ! may I sing of thee 1 

'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force, 
As with a chain indissoluble bound, 
Thy system rolls entire ; from the far bourn 
Of utmost Saturn, wheeling wide his round 
Of thirty years, to Mercury, whose disk 
Can scarce be caught by philosophick eye, 
Lost in the near effulgence of thy blaze. 

Informer of the planetary train i 
Without whose quickening glance their cumbrous orUs 
Were brute unlovely mass, inert and dead, 
And not, as now, the green abodes of life ; 
How many forms of being wait on thee, 
Inhaling spirit ! from the unfettered mind. 
By thee sublimed, down to the daily race, 
The mixing myriads of thy setting beam. 

The vegetable world is also thine, 
Parent of Seasons ! who the pomp precede 
That waits thy throne, as through thy vast domain, 
Annual, along the bright ecliptick road, 
In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime. 



68 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 25. 

Mean-time the expecting nations, circled gay 
With all the various tribes of foodful earth, 
Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up 
A common hymn ; while, round thy beaming car, 
High-seen, the Seasons lead, in sprightly dance 
Harmonious knit, the rosy-fingered Hours, 
The Zephyrs floating loose, the timely Rains, 
Of bloom ethereal, the light-footed Dews, 
And, softened into joy, the surly Storms. 
These, in successive turn, with lavish hand, 
Shower every beauty, every fragrance shower, 
Herbs, flowers, and fruits ; till, kindling at thy touch, 
From land to land is flushed the vernal year. 



LESSON XXV. 
Importance, of Literature.— Loud Lyttleton. 

CADMUS AND HERCULES* 

Hercules. 

li< you pretend to sit as high on Olympus as Hercu- 
les ? Did you kill the Nemsean Hon, the Erymanthian boar, 
the Lernean serpent, and Stymphalian birds 1 Did you de 
stroy tyrants and robbers 1 You value yourself greatly on 
subduing one serpent : I did as much as that while I lay in 
my cradle. 

Cadmus. It A „ not on account of the serpent, that I boast 
myself a greater benefactor to Greece than you. Actions 
should be valued by their utility, rather than their splen- 
dour. I tauirht Greece the art of writing, to which laws 
owe their precision and permanency. You subdued mon- 
sters ; I civilized men. It is from untamed passions, not 
from wild beasts s that the greatest evils arise to human so- 
ciety. By wisdom, by art, by the united strength of a civil 
community, men have been enabled to subdue the whole 
race of lions, bears, and serpents ; and, what is more, to 
bind by laws and wholesome regulations, the ferocious vio- 
lence and dangerous treachery of the human disposition. 
Had lions been destroyed only in single combat, men had 
had but a bad time of it ; and what, but laws, could awe the 
men who killed the lions ? The genuine glory, the proper 
distinction of the rational species, arises from the perfection 



Lesson SB.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 09 

of the mental powers. Courage is apt to be fierce, and 
strength is often exerted in acts of oppression : but wisdom 
is the associate of justice. It assists her to form equal laws, 
to pursue right measures, to correct power, protect weak- 
ness, and to unite individuals in a common interest and gen- 
eral welfare. Heroes may kill tyrants, but it is wisdom and 
laws that prevent tyranny and oppression. The operations 
of policy far surpass the labours of Hercules, preventing 
many evils which valour and might cannot even redress. 
You heroes regard nothing but glory ; and scarcely con- 
sider whether the conquests which raise your fame, are 
really beneficial to your country. Unhappy are the people 
who are governed by valour not directed by prudence, and 
not mitigated by the gentle arts ! 

Hercules. I do not expect to find an admirer of my stren- 
uous life, in the man who taught his countrymen to sit still 
and read ; and to lose the hours of youth and action in idle 
speculation and the sport of words. 

Cadmus. An ambition to have a place in the registers of 
fame, is the Eurystheus which imposes heroick labours on 
mankind. The Muses incite to action, as well as entertain 
the hours of repose ; and I think you should honour them 
for presenting to heroes so noble a recreation, as may pre- 
vent their taking up the distaff, when they lay down the 
club. 

Hercules. Wits as well as heroe* can take up the distaff. 
What think you of their thin-spun systems of philosophy, or 
lascivious poems, or Milesian fables 1 Nay, what is still 
worse, are there not panegyricks on tyrants, and books that 
blaspheme the gods, and perplex the natural sense of right 
and wrong 1 I believe if Eurystheus were to set me to work 
again, he would find me a worse task than any he imposed, 
he would make me read over a great library ; and I would 
serve it as I did the Hydra, I would burn as I went on, that 
one chimera might not rise from another, to plague man 
kind. I should have valued mvself more on clearing the 
library, than on cleansing the Ausrean stables. 

Cadmus. It is in those libraries only that the memory of 
your labour exists. The heroes of Marathon, the patriots 
of Thermopylae, owe their fame to me. All the wise insti- 
tutions of lawgivers, and all the doctrines of sages, had per 
ished in the. ear, like a dream related, if letters had not 
preserved them. O Hercules ! it is not for the man who 
preferred Virtue to Pleasure, to be an enemy to the Muses. 



70 THE AMERICAN [Zw&onSS. 

Let Sardanapalus and the silken sons of luxury, who have 
wasted life in inglorious ease, despise the records of action, 
which bear no honourable testimony to their lives : but true 
merit, heroick virtue, should respect the sacred source of 
lasting honour. 

Hercules, Indeed, if writers employed themselves only in 
recording the acts of great men, much might be said in tlieir 
favour. But why do they trouble people with tlieir medita- 
tions 1 t^an it be of any consequence to the world what an 
idle man has been thinking? 

Cadmus. Yes it may. The most important and extensive 
advantages mankind enjoy, are greatly owing to men who 
have never quitted their closets. To them mankind are 
obliged for the facility and security of navigation. The in- 
vention of the compass has opened to them new worlds. 
The knowledge of the mechanical powers has enabled them 
to construct such wonderful machines, as perform what the 
united labour of millions, by the severest drudgery, could 
not accomplish. Agriculture too, the most useful of arts, 
has received its share of improvement from the same source. 
Poetry, likewise, is of excellent use, to enable the memory 
to retain with more ease, and to imprint with more energy 
upon the heart, precepts and examples of virtue. From the 
little root of a few letters, science has spread its branches 
over all nature, and raised its head to the heavens. Some 
philosophers have entered so far into the counsels of Divine 
Wisdom, as to explain much of the great operations of n& 
ture. The dimensions and distances of the planets, the 
causes of their revolutions, the path of comets, and the ebb- 
ing and flowing of tides, are understood and explained. Can 
any thing raise the glory of the human species more, than 
to see a little creature, inhabiting a small spot, amidst innu- 
merable worlds, taking a survey of the universe, compre- 
hending its arrangement, and entering into the scheme of 
© © 7 © 

that wonderful connexion and correspondence of things so 
remote, and which it seems a great exertion of Omnipotence 
to have established 1 What a volume of wisdom, what a no- 
ble theology do these discoveries open to us ? While some 
snperiour geniuses have soared to these sublime subjects, 
other sagacious and diligent minds have been inquiring into 
the most minute works of the Infinite Artificer : the same 
care, the same providence, is exerted through the whole ; 
and we should learn from it, that, to true wisdom, utility and 
fitness appear perfection, and whatever is beneficial is noble. 



Lesson 25.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 71 

Hercules. I approve of science as far as it is assistant to 
action. I like the improvement of navigation, and the dis- 
covery of the greater part of the globe, because it opens a 
wider field for the master spirits of the world to bustle in. 

Cadmus. There spoke the soul of Hercules. But if 
learned men are to be esteemed for the assistance they give 
to active minds in their schemes, they are not less to be 
valued for their endeavours to give them a right direction, 
and moderate their too great ardour. The study of history 
will teach the legislator by what means states have become 
powerful ; and in the private citizen, they will inculcate the 
love of liberty and order. The writings of sages point out 
a private path of virtue ; and show that the best empire is 
self-government, and that subduing our passions is tlu no- 
blest of conquests. 

Hercules. The true spirit of heroism acts by a generous 
impulse, and wants neither the experience of history, nor 
the doctrines of philosophers to direct it. But do not arts 
and sciences render men effeminate, luxurious, and inactive 1 
and can you deny that wit and learning are often made sub- 
servient to very bad purposes ? 

Cadmus. I will own that there are some natures so happi- 
ly formed, they scarcely w T ant the assistance of a master, 
and the rules of art, to give them force or grace in every 
thing they do. But these favoured geniuses are few. As 
learning flourishes only where ease, plenty, and mild govern- 
ment subsist ; in so rich a soil, and under so soft a climate, 
the weeds of luxury will spring up among 1 the flowers of 
art : but the spontaneous weeds would grow more rank, if 
they were allowed the undisturbed possession of the field. 
Letters keep a frugal, temperate nation from growing 1 fero- 
cious, a rich one from becoming entirely sensual and de- 
bauched. Every gift of Heaven is sometimes abused ; but 
good sense and fine talents, by a natural law, gravitate to- 
wards virtue. Accidents may drive them out of their prop- 
er direction ; but such accidents are an alarming omen, and 
of dire portent to the times. For if virtue cannot keep to 
her allegiance those men, who in their hearts confess her 
divine right, and know the value of her laws, on whose 
fidelity and obedience can she depend ! May such geniuses 
never descend to flatter vice, encourage folly, or propagate 
irreligion ; but exert all their powers in the service of Vir- 
tue, and celebrate the noble choice of those, who, like Hcr» 
cules, preferred her to Pleasure * 



72 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 26 

LESSON XX VI. 

On the pleasure of acquiring knowledge. — Alison. 

In every period of life, the acquisition of knowledge is 
one of the most pleasing employments of the human mind. 
But in youth, there are circumstances which make it pro- 
ductive of higher enjoyment. It is then that every thing 
has the charm of novelty ; that curiosity and fancy are 
awake ; and that the heart swells with the anticipations of 
future eminence and utilitv. Even in those lower branches 
of instruction which we call mere accomplishments, there 
is something always pleasing to the young in their acquisi- 
tion. They seem to become every well-educated person ; 
they adorn, if they do not dignify humanity ; and, what is 
far more, while they give an elegant employment to the 
hours of leisure and relaxation, they afford a means of con- 
tributing to the purity and innocence of domestick life. 

But in the acquisition of knowledge of the higher kind,— 
in the hovr? when the young gradually begin the study of 
the laws nf nature, and of the faculties of the human mind, 
or of the magnificent revelations of the Gospel, — there is 
a pleasure of a subiimer nature. The cloud, which, in their 
infant years, seemed to cover nature from their view, begins 
gradually to resolve. The world in which they are placed, 
opens with all its wonders upon their eye; their powers of 
attention and observation seem to expand with the scene be- 
fore them ; and, while they see, for the first time, the im- 
mensity of the universe of God, and mark the majestick 
simplicity of those laws by which its operations are con- 
ducted, they feel as if they were awakened to a higher spe- 
cies ef being, and admitted into nearer intercourse with 
the Author of Nature. 

It is this period, accordingly, more than all others, that 
determines our hopes or fears of the future fate of the young. 
To feel no joy in such pursuits ; — to listen carelessly to the 
voice which brings such magnificent instruction ; — to seethe 
veil raised which conceals the counsels of the Deity, and to 
show no emotion at the discovery, are symptoms of a weak 
and torpid spirit, — of a mind unworthy of the advantages 
it possesses, and fitted only for the humility of sensual 
and ignoble pleasure. Of those, on the contrary, who 
distinguish themselves by the love of knowledge, — who fol- 
cw with ardour the career that is open to them, we are 
apt to form the most honourable pres'ages. It is the char 



Lesson 27.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 73 

acter which is natural to youth, and which, therefore, prom- 
ises well of their maturity. We foresee for them, at least, a 
life of pure and virtuous enjoyment, and we are willing to an- 
ticipate no common share of future usefulness and splendour 

In the second place, the pursuits of knowledge lead 
not only to happiness but to honour. " Length of days 
is in her right hand, and in her left are riches and honour." 
It is honourable to excel even in the most trifling species 
of knowledge, in those which can amuse only the passing 
hour. It is more honourable to excel in those different 
branches of science which are connected with the liberal 
professions of life, and which tend so much to the dignity 
and well-being of humanity. It is the means of raising the 
most obscure to esteem and attention ; it opens to the just 
ambition of youth, some of the most distinguished and re- 
spected situations in society ; and it places them there, with 
the consoling reflection, that it is to their own industry and 
labour, in the providence of God, that they are alone indebt- 
ed for them. But, to excel in the higher attainments of 
knowledge,— to be distinguished in those greater pursuits 
which have commanded the attention, and exhausted the 
abilities of the wise in every former age, — is, perhaps, of all 
the distinctions of human understanding, the most honoura- 
ble and grateful. 

When we look back upon the great men who have gone 
before us in every path of glory, we feel our eye turn from 
the career of war and of ambition, and involuntarily rest 
upon those who have displayed the great truths of religion, 
who have investigated the laws of social welfare, or extend- 
ed the sphere of human knowledge. These are honours, 
we feel, which have been gained without a crime, and which 
can be enjoyed without remorse. They are honours also 
which can never die, — which can shed lustre even upon the 
humblest head, — and to which the young of every succeed- 
ing age will look up, as their brightest incentives to the pur- 
suit of virtuous fame. 



LESSON XXVII. 

On the uses of knowledge. — Alisox. 

The first end to which all wisdom or knowledge ought 
to be employed, is to illustrate the wisdom or goodness of 
tke Father of Nature. Every science that is cultivated by 

7 



74 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 2? 

men, leads naturally to religious thought, from the study of 
the plant that grows beneath our feet, to that of the Host 
of Heaven above us, who perform their stated revolutions 
in majestick silence, amid the expanse of infinity. When, 
in the youth of Moses, " the Lord appeared to him in Ho- 
reb," a voice was heard, saying, " draw nigh hither, and 
put off thy shoes from off thy feet ; for the place where thou 
standest is holy ground." It is with such a reverential awe 
that every great or elevated mind will approach to the study 
of nature, and with such feelings of adoration and gratitude, 
that he will receive the illumination that gradually opens 
upon his soul. 

It is not the lifeless mass of matter, he will then feel, that 
he is examining, — it is the mighty machine of Eternal Wis- 
dom : the workmanship of Him, " in whom every thing 
iives, and moves, and has its being." Under an aspect of 
this kind, it is impossible to pursue knowledge without ming- 
ling with it the most elevated sentiments of devotion ; — it is 
impossible to perceive the laws of nature without perceiv- 
ing, at the same time, the presence and the Providence of 
the Lawgiver : — and thus it is, that, in every age, the evi- 
dences of religion have advanced with the progress of true 
philosophy ; and that science, in erecting a monument to 
herself, has, at the same time, erected an altar to the Deity. 

The knowledge of nature is not exhausted. There are 
many great discoveries yet awaiting the labours of science ; 
and with them, there are also awaiting to humanity many 
additional proofs of the wisdom and benevolence " of Him 
that made us." To the hope of these great discoveries, 
few, indeed, can pretend : — yet let it ever be remembered, 
that he who can trace any one new fact, or can exemplify 
anv one new instance of divine wisdom or benevolence in 
the svstem of nature, has not lived in vain ; that he has 
added to the sum of human knowledge ; and, what is far 
more, that he has added to the evidence of those greater 
truths, upon which the happiness of time and eternity de- 
pends. 

The second great end to which all knowledge ought to 
be employed, is to the welfare of humanity. Every science 
is the foundation of some art, beneficial to men ; and while 
the studv of it leads us to sec the beneficence of the laws 

at 

of nature, it calls upon us also to follow the great end of 
the Father of Nature in their employment and application. 
I need not say what a field is thus opened to the benevo- 



Lesson 27.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 75 

lence of knowledge : I need, not tell you, that in every de- 
partment of learning there is good to be done to mankind : 
I need not remind vou, that the a<re in which we live has 
given us the noblest examples of this kind, and that science 
now finds its highest glory in improving the condition, or in 
allaving" the miseries of humanity. But there is one thins: of 
which it is proper ever to remind you, because the modesty 
of knowledge often leads us to forget it. — and that is, that 
the power of seientifick benevolence is far greater than that 
of all others, to the welfare of society. 

The benevolence of the great, or the opulent, however 
eminent it may be, perishes with themselves. The benevo- 
lence even of sovereigns is limited to the narrow boundary 
of human life ; and, not unfrequently, is succeeded by differ- 
ent and discordant counsels. But the benevolence of knowl- 
edge is of a kind as extensive as the race of man, and as 

rrmanent as the existence of society. He, in whatever 
situation he may be, who, in the study of science, has dis- 
covered a new means of alleviating pain, or of remedying 
disease ; who has described a wiser method of preventing 
poverty, or of shielding misfortune : who has suggested ad- 
ditional means of increasing or improving the beneficent 
productions of nature, has left a memorial of himself, which 
can never be forgotten ; which will communicate happi- 
ness to ages yet unborn ; and which, in the emphatick lan- 
guage of scripture, renders him a " fellow-worker" with God 
himself; in the improvement of his Creation. 

The third great end of all knowledge is the improvement 
and exaltation of our own minds. It was the voice of the 
apostle, " What manner of men ought ye to be, to whom the 
truths of the Gospel have come?" It is the voice of na- 
ture also, " What manner of men ought ye to be, to whom 
the treasures of wisdom are opened 1" Of ail the specta- 
cles, indeed, which life can offer us, there is none more 
painful, or unnatural, than that of the union of vice with 
knowledge. It counteracts the great designs of God in the 

■a • • • ^ 

Lstnbution of wisdom ; and it assimilates men, not to the 
usual characters of human frailty, but to those dark and 
malignant spirits who fell from Heaven, and who excel in 
knowledge, only that they may employ it in malevolence. 

To the wise and virtuous man, on the contrary, — to him 
wmose moral attainments have kept pace with his intellec- 
tual, and who has employed the great talent with which lie 
is intrusted to the slory of God, and to the srood of human 



76 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 28. 

ity, — are presented the sublimest prospects that mortality 
can know. " In my father's house," says our Saviour, " are 
many mansions ;" — mansions, we may dare to interpret, fit- 
ted to the different powers that life has acquired, and to the 
uses to which they have been applied. 

Of that great scene, indeed, which awaits all, whether 
ignorant or wise, it becomes us to think with reverential 
awe. Yet we know, "that it will then be well with the 
good, though it will not be well with the wicked ;" and we 
are led, by an instinctive anticipation, to suppose that they 
who here have excelled in wisdom and benevolence, will be 
rewarded with higher objects, upon which they may be em- 
ployed, and admitted into nearer prospects of the govern- 
ment of Eternal Wisdom. " In his light they shall see 
light." " They shall see Him, not as through a glass, 
darkly ; but as he is. They shall know, even as they 
themselves are known." 



lesson xxvm. 

No life pleasing to God, that is not useful to man : — An east' 

ern narrative. — Hawkesworth. 

It pleased our mighty sovereign, Abbas Carascan, from 
whom the kings of the earth derive honour and dominion, to 
set Mirza his servant over the province of Tauris. In the 
hand of Mirza, the balance of distribution was suspended 
with impartiality ; and under his administration the weak 
were protected, the learned received honour, and the dili- 
gent became rich : Mirza, therefore, was beheld by every 
eye with complacency, and every tongue pronounced bless- 
ings upon his head. But it was observed that he derived 
no joy from the benefits which he diffused ; he became pen- 
sive and melancholy ; he spent his leisure in solitude ; in 
his palace he sat motionless upon a sofa ; and when he went 
out, his walk was slow, and his eyes were fixed upon the 
ground : he applied to the business of state with reluctance ; 
and resolved to relinquish the toil of government, of which 
he could no longer enjoy the reward. 

He, therefore, obtained permission to approach the throne 
of our sovereign ; and being asked what was his request, he 
made this reply : " May the Lord of the world forgive the 
slave whom he has honoured, if Mirza presume again to lay 



Lesson 23.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 77 1 

the bounty of Abbas at his feet. Thou hast given me the 
dominion of a country, fruitful as the gardens of Damascus ; 
and a city glorious above all others, except that only which 
reflects the splendour of thy presence. But the longest life 
is a period scarcely sufficient to prepare for death. All 
other business is vain and trivial, as the toil of emmets in 
the path of the traveller, under whose foot they perish for 
ever : and all enjoyment is unsubstantial and evanescent as 
the colours of the bow that appears in the interval of a 
storm. Suffer me, therefore, to prepare for the approach 
of eternity ; let me give up my soul to meditation ; let soli- 
tude and silence acquaint me with the mysteries of devotion ; 
let me forget the world, and by the world be forgotten, till 
the moment arrives in which the veil of eternity shall fall, 
and I shall be found at the bar of the Almighty." Mirza 
then bowed himself to the earth, and stood silent. 

By the command of Abbas it is recorded, that at these 
words he trembled upon the throne, at the footstool of 
which the world pays homage ; he looked round upon his 
nobles ; but every countenance was pale, and every eye was 
upon the earth. No man opened his mouth ; and the king *'l 

first broke silence, after it had continued near an hour. 

" Mirza, terrour and doubt have come upon me. I am 
alarmed as a man who suddenly perceives that he is near 
the brink of a precipice, and is urged forward by an irre- 
sistible force : but yet I know not whether my danger is a 
reality or a dream. I am as thou art, a reptile of the earth *. 
my life is a moment, and eternity, in which days, and years, 
and ages, are nothing, eternity is before me, for which I also 
should prepare : but by whom, then, must the faithful be 
governed ? By those only, who have no fear of judgement ? 
by those only, whose life is brutal, because like brutes they 
do not consider that they shall die ? Or who, indeed, are the 
faithful 1 Are the busy multitudes that crowd the city, in a 
state of perdition 1 and is the cell of the Dervise alone the 
gate of paradise 1 To all, the life of a Dervise is not pos- 
sible : to all, therefore, it cannot be a duty. Depart to the 
house which has in this city been prepared for thy resi- 
dence : 1 will meditate the reason of thy request ; and may 
He who illuminates the mind of the humble, enable me to 
determine with wisdom." 

Mirza departed ; and on the third day, having received 
no command, he again requested an audience, and it was 
granted. When he entered the royal presence, his counte- 

7 * 



78 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 28. 

nance appeared more cheerful ; he drew a letter from his 
bosom, and having kissed it, he presented it with his right 
hand. " My Lord !" said he, " I have learned by this let- 
ter, which I received from Cosrou the Iman, who stands now 
before thee, in what manner life may be best improved. I 
am enabled to look back with pleasure, and forward with 
hope ; and I shall now rejoice still to be the shadow of thy 
power at Tauris, and to keep those honours which I so 
lately wished to resign." The king, who had listened to 
.Mirza with a mixture of surprise and curiosity, immediately 
gave the letter to Cosrou, and commanded that it should be 
read. The eyes of the court were at once turned upon tne 
hoary sage, whose countenance was suffused with an honest 
blush ; and it was not without some hesitation that he read 
these words. 

" To Mirza, whom the wisdom of Abbas our mighty lord 
has honoured with dominion, be perpetual health ! When 
I heard thy purpose to withdraw the blessings of thy gov- 
ernment from the thousands of Tauris, my heart was wound- 
ed with the arrow of affliction, and my eyes became dim with 
sorrow. But who shall speak before the king when he is 
troubled ; and who shall boast of knowledge, when he is 
distressed by doubt ? To thee will I relate the events of my 
vouth, which thou hast renewed before me; and those 
truths which they taught me, may the Prophet multiply 
to thee ? 

" Under the instruction of the physician Aluzar, I obtain- 
ed an earlv knowledge of his art. To those who were srnit- 
ten with disease, I could administer plants, which the sun has 
impregnated with the spirit of health. But the scenes of 
pain, languor, and mortality, which were perpetually rising 
before me, made me often tremble for myself. I saw the 
grave open at my feet : I determined, therefore, to contem- 
plate only the regions beyond it, and to despise every ac- 
quisition which I could not keep. I conceived an opinion, 
that as there was no merit but in voluntary poverty, and si- 
ent meditation, those who desired money were not proper 
objects of bounty ; and that by all who were proper objects 
©f bounty, money was despised. I, therefore, buried mine 
in the earth ; and renouncing society, I wandered into a wild 
and sequestered part of the country. My dwelling was a 
eave by the side of a hill. I drank the running water from 
the spring, and ate such fruits and herbs as I could find. 
To increase the austerity of my life, I frequently watched 



Lesson 28.] FIRST CLASS BOOR. 79 

all night, sitting at the entrance of the cave with my face to 

the east, resigning myself to the secret influences of the 
Prophet. 

" One morning after my nocturnal vigil, just as I per- 
ceived the horizon glow at the approach of the sun, the 
power of sleep became irresistible, and I sunk under it. I 
imagined mvself still sitting at the entrance of my cell ; that 
the dawn increased ; and that as I locked earnestly for the 
first beam of day, a dark spot appeared to intercept it. I 
perceived that it was in motion ; it increased in size as it 
drew near, and at length I discovered it to be an eagle. I 
still kept my eye fixed steadfastly upon it, and saw it alight 
at a small distance, where I now descried a fox whose two 
fore-legs appeared to be broken. Before this fox the eagle 
laid part of a kid, which she had brought in her talons, and 
then disappeared. 

" When I awaked, I laid my forehead upon the ground, 
and blessed the Prophet for the instruction of the morn- 
ing. I reviewed mv dream, and said thus to mvself, Cos- 
rou, thou hast done well to renounce the tumult, the busi- 
ness, and vanities of life : but thou hast as yet only done 
it in part ; thou art still every day busied in the search cf 
food ; thy mind is not wholly at rest ; neither is thy trust 
in Providence complete. What art thou taught by this 
vision 1 If thou hast seen an eagle commissioned by Heaven 
to feed a fox that is lame, shall not the hand of Heaven also 
supply thee with food, when that which prevents thee from 
procuring it for thyself, is not necessity, but devotion ? 

" I was now so confident of a miraculous supply, that I 
neglected to walk out for my repast, which, after the first 
day, I expected with an impatience that left me little power 
of attending to any other object. This impatience, howev- 
er, I laboured to suppress, and persisted in my resolution : 
but my eyes at length began to fail me, and my knees smote 
each other ; I threw myself backward, and hoped my weak- 
ness would soon increase to insensibility. But I was sud- 
denly roused by the voice of an invisible being, who pro- 
nounced these words : i Cosrou, I am the angel, who, by the 
command of the Almightv, have registered the thoughts of 
thy heart, which I am now commissioned to reprove. While 
thou wast attempting to become wise above that which is 
revealed, thy folly has perverted the instruction which was 
vouchsafed thee. Art thou disabled like the fox ? hast thou 
not rather the powers of the eagle ? Arise, let the eagle be 



80 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 28. 

the object of thy emulation. To pain and sickness, be thou 
again the messenger of ease and health. Virtue is not rest, 
but action. If thou dost good to man as an evidence of thy 
love to God, thy virtue wiil be exalted from mortal'to divine ; 
and that happiness which is the pledge of paradise, will be 
thy reward upon earth.' 

"At these words, I was not less astonished than if a 
mountain had been overturned at my feet. I humbled my- 
self in the dust ; I returned to the city ; I dug up my treas- 
ure ; I was liberal, yet I became rich. My skill in restor- 
ing health to the body, gave me frequent opportunities of 
curing the diseases of the soul. I grew eminent beyond my 
merit ; and it was the pleasure of the king that I should 
stand before him. Now, therefore, be not offended ; I 
boast of no knowledge that I have not received. As the 
sands of the desert drink up the drops of rain, or the dew 
of the mornirg, so do I also, who am but dust, imbibe the 
instructions of the Prophet. 

" Believe, then, that it is he who tells thee, all knowl- 
edge is profane, which terminates in thyself; and by a 
life wasted in speculation, little even of this can be gain- 
ed. When the gates of paradise are thrown open before 
thee, thy mind shall be irradiated in a moment. Here, 
thou canst do little more than pile errour upon errour : 
there, thou shalt build truth upon truth. Wait, therefore, 
for the glorious vision ; and in the mean-time emulate the 
eagle. Much is in thy power ; and, therefore, much is ex- 
pected of thee. Though the Almighty only can give vir- 
tue, yet, as a prince, thou mayest stimulate those to benefi- 
cence, who act from no higher motive than immediate in- 
terest : thou canst not produce the principle, but mayest en- 
force the practice. Let thy virtue be thus diffused ; and if 
thou believest with reverence, thou shalt be accepted above. 
Farewell ! May the smile of Him who resides in the 
heaven of heavens be upon thee ; and against thy name, in 
the volume of His will, may happiness be w r ritten !" 

The king, whose doubts, like those of Mirza, were now 
removed, looked up with a smile that communicated the joy 
of his mind. He dismissed the prince to his government ; 
and commanded these events to be recorded, to the end 
that posterity may know, " that no life is pleasing to God, 
but that which is useful to mankind." 



Lesson 29.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. SI 

LESSON XXIX. 

The Planetary System. — Mangnall. 

Fair star of Eve, thy lucid ray 
Directs my thoughts to realms on high ; 
Great is the theme, though weak the lay, 
For my heart whispers God is nigh. 

The Sun, vicegerent of his power, 
Shall rend the veil of parting night, 
Salute the spheres, at early hour, 
And pour a flood of life and light. 

Seven circling planets I behold, 
Their different orbits all describe ; 
Copernicus these wonders told, 
And bade the laws of truth revive. 

Mercury and Venus first appear, 
Nearest the dazzling source of day ; 
Three months compose his hasty year, 
In seven she treads the heavenly way. 

Next, Earth completes her yearly course ; 
The Moon as satellite attends ; 
Attraction is the hidden force, 
On which creation's law depends. 

Then Mars is seen of fiery hue ; 
Jupiter's orb we next descry ; 
His atmospherick belts we view, 
And four bright moons attract the eve. 

Mars, soon his revoluti m makes, 

In twice twelve months the sun surrounds ; 

Jupiter, greater limits takes, 

And twelve long years declare his bounds. 

With ring of light, see Saturn slow, 
Pursue his path in endless space ; 
By seven pale moons his course we know, 
And thirty years that round shall trace. 

The Georgium Sidus next appears, 
By his amazing distance known ; 
The lapse of more than eighty years, 
In his account makes one alone. 



82 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 30. 

Six moons are his, by Herschel shown, 
Herschel, of modern times the boast ; 
Discovery here is all his own, 
Another planetary host ! 

And lo ! by astronomick scan, 
Three stranger planets track the sides, 
Part of that high majestick plan, 
Whence those successive worlds arise. 

Next Mars, Piazzi's orb is seen, 

Four years six months, complete his round ; 

Science shall renovated beam, 

And srild Palermo's favoured ground. 

Daughters of telescopick ray, 
Pallas and Juno, smaller spheres, 
Are seen near Jove's imperial way, 
Tracing; the heavens in destined vears. 

Comets and fixed stars I see, 

With native lustre ever shine ; 

How great ! how good ! how dreadful ! He, 

In whom life, light, and truth combine. 

Oh ! may I better know his will, 
And more implicitly obey ; 
Be God my friend, my father still, 
From finite — to eternal day. 



LESSON XXX. 

Incentives to devotion, — H. K. White. 

Lo ! the unlettered hind, who never knew 
To raise his mind excursive, to the heights 
Of abstract contemplation, as he sits 
On the green hillock by the hedge-row side, 
What time the insect swarms are murmurimr, 
And marks, in silent thought, the broken clouds, 
That fringe, with loveliest hues, the evening sky, 
Feels in his soul the hand of nature rouse 
The thrill of gratitude, to him who formed 
The goodly prospect ; he beholds the God 
Thron'd in the west ; and his reposing ear 



Lesson 30.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 83 

Hears sounds angelick in the fitful breeze, 

That floats through neighbouring copse or fairy brake, 

Or lingers, playful, on the haunted stream. 

Go with the cotter to his winter fire, 
When, o'er the moors the loud blast whistles shrill, 
And the hoarse ban-dog bays the icy moon ; 
Mark with what awe he lists the wild uproar, 
Silent, and big with thought ; and hear him bless 
The God that rides on the tempestuous clouds, 
For his snug hearth, and all his little joys. 
Hear him compare his happier lot, with his 
Who bends his way across the wintry wolds, 
A poor night-traveller, while the dismal snow 
Beats in his face, and dubious of his paths, 
He stops, and thinks, in every lengthening blast, 
He hears some village mastiff's distant howl, 
And sees far streaming, some lone cottage light ; 
Then, undeceived, upturns his streaming eyes, 
And clasps his shivering hands, or overpowered, 
Sinks on the frozen ground, weighed down with sleep. 
From which the hapless wretch shall never wake. 

Thus the poor rustick warms his heart with praise 
And glowing gratitude : he turns to bless 
With honest warmth, his Maker and his God. 
And shall it e'er be said, that a poor hind, 
Nurs'd in the lap of ignorance, and bred 
In want and labour, glows with noble zeal 
To laud his Maker's attributes, while he 
"Whom starry science in her cradle rocked, 
And Castaly enchastened with its dews, 
Closes his eye upon the holy word ; 
And, blind to all but arrogance and pride, 
Dares to declare his infidelity, 
And openly contemn the Lord of Hosts ! 

Oh ! I would walk 
A weary journey to the furthest verge 
Of the big world, to kiss that good man's hand, 
Who, in the blaze of wisdom and of art, 
Preserves a lowly mind ; and to his God, 
Feeling the sense of his own littleness, 
Is as a child in meek simplicity ! 
What is the pomp of learning 1 the parade 
Of letters and of tongues ? Even as the mists 
Of the gray morn before the rising sun, 



84 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 31 

That pass away and perish. Earthly things 
Are but the transient pageants of an hour ; 
And earthly pride is like the passing flower, 
That springs to fall, and blossoms but to die. 



LESSON XXXI. 

Ode to Sickness. 

The following ode was written by a young lady in the north of Eng- 
land, who, for many years, had been oppressed with a hopeless con- 
sumption. 

Not to the rosy maid, whom former hours 
Beheld me fondly covet, tune I now 
The melancholy lyre : no more I seek 
Thy aid Hygeia ! sought so long in vain ; 
But 'tis to thee, O Sickness ! 'tis to thee 
I wake the silent strings ; accept the lay. 

Thou art no tvrant waving the fierce scourge 
O'er unresisting victims — but a nymph 
Of mild though mournful mien, upon whose brow 
Patience sits smiling, and whose heavy eye, 
Though moist with tears, is always fixed on heaven. 
Thou wrapp'st the world in clouds, but thou canst tell 
Of worlds where all is sunshine, and, at length, 
When through this veil of sorrow thou hast led 
Thy patient sufferers, cheering thein the while 
With many a smile of promise, thy pale hand 
Unlocks the bowers of everlasting rest ; 
Where Death's kind angel waits to dry their tears, 
And crown them with his amaranthine flowers. 

Yet have I known thee long, and I have felt 
All that thou hast of sorrow — many a tear 
Has fallen on my cold cheek, and many a sigh, 
Call'd forth by thee, has swelled my aching breast ; 
Yet still I bless thee, O thou chastening power ! 
For all I bless thee : thou hast taught my soul 
To rest upon itself, to look beyond 
The narrow bounds of time, and fix its hopes 
On the sure basis of eternity. 



Lwon 31.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 85 

Mean-while, even in this transitory scene, 
Of what hast thou deprived me ? Has thy hand 
Closed up the hook of knowledge ; drawn a veil 
O'er the fair face of nature ; or destroyed 
The tender pleasures of domestick life ? — 
Ah, no ! 'tis thine to call forth in the heart 
Each better feeling ; thou awaken'st there 
That unconfin'd philanthropy which feels 
For all the unhappy ; that warm sympathy 
Which, casting every selfish care aside, 
Finds its own bliss in seeing others blest : 
That melancholy, tender yet sublime, 
Which, feeling all the nothingness of earth, 
Exalts the soul to heaven : — and, more than these, 
That pure devotion, which, even in the hour 
Of agonizing pain, can fill the eyes 
With tears of ecstasy — such tears, perhaps, 
As angels love to shed. — 

These are thy gifts, O Sickness ! these to me 
Thou hast vouchsaf'd and taught me how to prize. 
Shall rny soul shrink from aught thou hast ordained ! 
Shall I e'er envy the luxurious train 
Along whose path Prosperity has strewed 
Her gilded toys ? Ah ! let them still pursue 
Those shining trifles ; never shall they know 
Such pure and holy pleasures as await 
The heart refined by sufferings. Not to them 
Does Fancy sing her wild, romantick song; 
'Tis not for them her glowing hand undraws 
The sacred veil that hides the angelick world. 
They hear not, in the musick of the wind, 
Celestial voices, that, in whispers sweet, 
Call to the flowers — the young and bashful flowers ! 
They see not, at the shadowy hour of eve, 
Descending spirits, wjio, on silver wings, 
Glide through the air, and, to their harps divine, 
Sing in soft notes the vesper hymn of praise ; 
Or, pausing for a moment, as they turn 
Their radiant eyes on this polluted scene, 
Drop on their golden harps a pitying tear. 

Prosperity ! I court thy gifts no more, 
Nor thine, O fair Hygeia ! Yet to thee 
I breathe one fervent prayer; attend my strain, 

8 






88 TUT: AMERICAN [Lesson 32 

If for my faded brow thy hand prepare 
Some future wreath, let me the gift resign i 
Transfer the rosy garland : let it bloom 
Around the temples of that friend beloved, 
On whose maternal bosom, even now, 
I lay my aching head ! and, as I mark 
The smile that plays upon her speaking face, 
Forget that I have ever shed a tear. 



lesson xxxii; .-; 

Reply to the Address of a Missionary at a Council of Thz 
Chiefs of" the Six Nations" in 1805, — -by Sagnym Wha- 
thah, alias Red Jacket. — Philanthropist. 

" Friend and Brother ! 

It was the will of the Great Spirit, that we should meet 
together this day. He orders all things ; and has given 
as a fine day for our council. He has taken his garment 
from before the sun, and caused it to shine with brightness 
upon us. Our eyes are opened that we see clearly ; our 
ears are unstopped, that we have been able to hear distinct- 
ly the words you have spoken. For all these favours we 
thank the Great Spirit, and him only. 

Brother ! Listen to what we say. There was a time when 
our forefathers owned this great island. Their seats ex- 
tended from the rising to the setting sun : the Great Spirit 
had made it for the use of the Indians. He had created the 
buffalo, the o.eer, and other animals for food. He had made 
the bear and the beaver ; their skins served us for clothing. 
lie had scattered them over the country, and taught us how 
to take them. He had caused the earth to produce corn 
for bread. All this he had done for his red children, be- 
cause he loved them. If we had disputes about our hunt- 
ing ground, they were generally settled without the shed- 
ding of much blood. But an evil day came upon us ; your 
forefathers crossed the great waters, and landed on this 
island: their numbers were small: they found us friends, 
and n, t enemies, They told us they had fled from their 
own country, through fear of wicked men, and had come 
here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a small seat ; 
we took pity on them, and granted their request ; and they 
sat down amongst us. We gave them corn and meat, and, 



Lesson 32.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 87 

m return, they gave us poison. The white people having 
now found our country, tidings were sent hack, and more 
came amongst us ; yet we did not fear them. We took them 
to be friends: they called us brothers; we believed them, 
and gave them a larger seat. At length their numbers so 
increased, that they wanted more land : they wanted our 
country. Our eyes were opened, and we became uneasy. 
Wars took place ; Indians were hired to fight against In- 
dians ; and many of our people were destroyed. They also 
distributed liquor amongst us, which has slain thousands. 

Brother I Once our seats .were large, and yours were 
small. You have now become a great people, and we have 
scarcely a place left to spread our blankets. You have got 
our country, but, not satisfied, you want to force your reli- 
gion upon us. 

Brother ! Continue to listen. You say you are sent to 
instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to his 
mind, and that if we do not take hold of the religion which 
you teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. How do we 
know this to be true 1 We understand that your religion is 
written in a bock. If it was intended for us as well as you, 
why has not the Great Spiri* gi^en it to us ; and not only to 
us, but why did he not give to our forefathers the knowl- 
edge of that book, with the means of rightly understanding 
it? We only know what you tell us about it, and having 
been so often deceived by the white people, how shall we 
believe what they say ? 

Brother I You say there is but one-way to worship and 
serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do 
you white people differ so much about it ? Why not all 
agree, as you can all read the book ? 

Brother! We do not understand these things : we are 
told that your religion was given to your forefathers, and 
has been handed down from father to son. We also have 
a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has 
been handed down to us : it teaches us to be thankful for all 
favours received, to love each other , and to be united : we never 
quarrel about religion. 

Brother! The Great Spirit made us all; but he has 
made a great difference between his white and his red chil- 
dren : — he has given us different complexions and differ- 
ent customs. To you he has given the arts ; to these he 
has not opened our eyes. Since he has made so great a 
difference between us hi other tilings, why may he not have 



88 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 33 

given us a different religion ? The Great Spirit does right : 
he knows what is best for his children. 

Brother ! We do not want to destroy your religion, or to 
take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own. 

Brother ! We are told that you have been preaching to 
the white people in this place. These people are our neigh- 
bours. We will wait a little, and see what effect your 
preaching has had upon them. If we find it makes them 
honest, and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then con- 
sider again of what you have said. 

Brother ! You have now heard our answer, and this is all 
we have to say at present. As we are about to part, we will 
come and take you by the hand : and we hope the Great 
Spirit will protect you on your journey, and return you safe 
to your friends." 



LESSON XXXIII. 

Dialogue between Mercury ', an English Duellist, and a North 
American Savage. — Dialogues of the dead. 

Duellist. 

Mercury, Charon's boat is on the other side of the wa- 
ter ; allow me, before it returns, to have some conversa- 
tion with the North American Savage, whom you brought 
hither at the same time that you conducted me to the shades. 
I never saw one of that species before, and am curious to 
know what the animal is. He looks very grim. — Pray, Sir, 
what is your name ? I understand you speak English. 

Savage. Yes, I learned it in my childhood, having been 
bred up for some years in the town of New-York : but be 
fore I was a man, I returned to my countrymen, the valiant 
Mohawks, and having been cheated by one of yours in the 
sale of some rum, I wished never to have any thing to do 
with them afterwards. Yet, with the rest of my tribe, 1 
took up the hatchet for them in the war against France* 
and was killed while I was upon a scalping party. But 1 
died very well satisfied ; for my friends were victorious, and 
before I was shot I had scalped seven men and five women 
and children. In a former war I had done still greater 
exploits. My name is the Bloody Bear : it was given me to 
denote my fierceness and valour. 

Duellist. Bloody Bear, I respect you, and am much your 



Lesson 33.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. S9 

luimble servant. My name is Tom Pushwell, very well 
known at Arthur's. I am a gentleman by birth, and by pro- 
fession a gamester, and a man of honour. I have killed 
men in fair righting, in honourable single combat, but I do 
not understand cutting the throats of women and children. 

Savage. Sir, that's our way of making war. Every na- 
tion has its own customs. But, by the grimness in your coun- 
tenance, and that hole in your breast, I presume you were 
killed, as I was myself, in some scalping party. How hap- 
pened it that your enemy did not take off your scalp 2 

Duellist. Sir, I was killed in a duel. A friend of mine 
had lent me some money ; after two or three years, being 
himself in great want, he asked me to pay him ; I thought 
his demand an affront to my honour, and sent him a chal- 
lenge. We met in Hyde Park ; the fellow could not fence ; 
I was the most adroit swordsman in England. I gave him 
three or four wounds ; but at last he ran upon me with such 
impetuosity that he put me out of my play, and I could not 
prevent him from whipping me through the lungs. I died 
the next day, as a man of honour should, without any sniv- 
elling signs of repentance ; and he will follow me soon, for 
his surgeon has declared his wounds to be mortal. It is said 
that his wife is dead of her fright, and that his family of 
seven children will be undone bv his death. So I am well 
revenged ; and that is a comfort. For my part I had no 
wife. I always hated marriage. 

Savage. Mercury, I won't go in a boat with that fellow. 
He has murdered his countryman ; he has anurdered his 
friend. I say I won't go in a boat with that fellow, I will 
swim over the river ; I can swim like a duck. 

Mercury. Swim over the Styx ! it must not be done : it is 
against the laws of Pluto's empire. You must go in the 
boat, so be quiet. 

Savage. Do not tell me of laws ; I am a savage ! I value 
no laws. Talk of laws to the Englishman ; there are laws 
in his country, and yet you see he did not regard them, for 
they could never allow him to kill his fellow-subject in time 
of peace, because he asked him to pay a debt. The Eng- 
lish cannot be so brutal as to make such things lawful. 

Mercury. You reason well against him. But how comes 
it that you are so offended with murder : you who have mas- 
sacred women in their sleep, and children in their cra- 
dles 1 

Savage. I killed none but my enemies ; I never killed my 
8* 



90 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 33. 

own countryman ; I never killed my friend. Here, take 
my blanket atKl let it come over in the boat, but see that 
the murderer does not sit upon it or touch it ; if he does I 
will burn it in the fire I see yonder. Farewell. I am re- 
solved to swim over the water. 

Mercury. By this touch of my wand I take all thy strength 
from thee. Swim now if thou canst. 

Savage. This is a very potent enchanter. Restore me 
my strength, and I will obey thee. 

Mercury. 1 restore it ; but be orderly and do as I bid 
you, otherwise worse will befall you. 

Duellist. Mercury, leave him V> me, I will tutor him for 
you. Sirrah, Savage, dost thou pretend to be ashamed of 
my company ? Dost thou know that I have kept the best 
company in England ? 

Savage. I know thou art a scoundrel ! Not pay thy 
debts ! kill thy friend who lent thee money, for asking thee 
for it ! Get out of my sight, or I will drive thee into the 
Styx. 

Mercury. Stop, I command thee. No violence. Talk to 
him calmly. 

Savage. I must obey thee. — Well, Sir, let me know what 
merit you had, to introduce you into good company. What 
could you do ? 

Duellist. Sir, I gamed as I told you. — Besides that, I kept 
a good table. — I ate as well as any man in England or 
France. 

Savage. Eat! Did you ever eat the chine of a French- 
man, or his leg, or his shoulder 7 There is fine eating ! I 
have ePtten twenty. — My table was always well served. My 
w T ife was the best cook for dressing man's flesh in all North 
America. You will not pretend to compare your eating 
with mine. 

Duellist. I danced very finely. 

Savage. I will dance with thee for thy ears. — I can dance 
all day long. I can dance the war dance, with more spirit 
and vigour than any man of my nation ; let us see thee be- 
gin it, How thou standest like a post ! Has Mercury 
struck thee with his enfeebling rod ; or art thou ashamed to 
betray thy awkwardness ? If he would permit me, I would 
teach thee to dance in a way that thou hast not yet seen. 
1 would make thee caper and leap like a buck. But what 
©Ise canst thou do, thou bragging rascal ? 

JJuellht. v\., heavens ! must I bear this ? What caw 



Lesson 34.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 91 

I do with this fellow ? I have neither sword nor pistol ; and 
his shade seems to be twice as strong as mine. 

Mercury* You must answer his questions. It was your 
own desire to have a conversation with him. He is not 
well-bred, but he will tell you some truths which you must 
hear in this place. It would have been well for you if you 
had heard them abo,ve. He asked of you what you could 
do besides eating and dancing ? 

Duellist. I sang very agreeably. 

Savage. Let me hear you sing your death-song, or the 
war-whoop. I challenge you to sing ; — the fellow is mute. 
— Mercury, this is a liar. — He tells us nothing but lies. Let 
me pull out his tongue. 

Duellist. The lie given me ! — and, alas! I dare not resent 
it. Oh, what a disgrace to the family of the Pushwells ! 

Mercury. Here, Charon, take these two savages to your 
care. How far the barbarism of the Mohawk will excuse 
his horrid acts, I leave Minos to judge ; but what excuse 
can the Englishman plead ? The custom of duelling ? . An 
excuse this, that in these regions cannot avail. The spirit 
that made him draw his sword in the combat against his 
friend, is not the spirit of honour ; it is the spirit of the n> 
ries, of Alecto herself. To her he must go, for she has long 
dwelt in his merciless bosom. 

Savage. If he is to be punished, turn him over to me. I 
understand the art of tormenting. Sirrah,* I begin with 
this kick, as a tribute to your boasted honour. Get you into 
the boat, or I will give you another. I am impatient to have 
you condemned. 

Duellist. Oh my honour, my honour, to what infamy art 
thou fallen ! 



LESSON XXXIV. 

The Mice. — Fenelon. 

A mouse, weary of living in the continual alarm attendant 
on the carnage committed among her nation by Mitis and 
Rodilardus, thus addressed herself to the tenant of a hole 
near her own. 

44 An excellent thought has just come into my head : — I 

* Pronounced Sar rah. 



92 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 34. 

read in some book which I gnawed a few days ago, that 
there is a fine country, called the Indies, in which mice are 
in much greater security than here. In that region, the 
sages believe that the soul of a mouse has been that of a 
king, a great captain, or some wonderful saint, and that after 
death it will probably enter the body of a beautiful woman 
or mighty potentate. If I recollect rightly, this is called 
metempsychosis. Under this idea, they treat all animals 
with paternal charity, and build and endow hospitals for 
mice, where they are fed like people of consequence. Come 
then, my good sister, let us hasten to a country, the customs 
of which are so excellent, and where justice is done to our 
merits." Her neighbour replied, " But, sister, do not cats 
enter these hospitals 1 if they do, metempsychosis must take 
place very soon, and in great numbers ; and a talon or a 
tooth might make a fakir, or a king ; a miracle we can very 
well do without." "Do not fear," said the first mouse, "in 
these countries order is completely established ; the cats 
have their houses as well as we ours, and they have their 
hospitals for the sick separate from ours." After this con- 
versation, our two mice set out together, contriving the even- 
ing before she set sail, to creep along the cordage of a vessel 
that was to make a long voyage. 

They got under weigh, and were enraptured with the 
sight of the sea, which took them from the abominable shores 
on which cats exercise their tyranny. The sail was pleas- 
ant, and they reached Surat, not like merchants, to acquire 
riches, but to receive good treatment from the Hindoos. 
They had scarcely entered one of the houses fitted up for 
mice, when they aspired to the best accommodation. One 
of them pretended to recollect having formerly been a Bra- 
min on the coast of Malabar, and the other protested that 
she had been a fine lady of the same country, with long 
ears ; but they displayed so much impertinence, that the 
Indian mice lost all patience. A civil war commenced, and 
no quarter was given to the two Franks who pretended to 
impose laws on the others ; when, instead of being eaten by 
cats, they were strangled by their own brethren. From this 
it is evident, that it is useless to go far in search of safety ; 
as, if we are not modest and wise, we only go into danger ; 
and if we are so, we may be secure at home. 



Lesson 3G.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 93 

LESSON XXXV. 

The Lord and the Judge. — Lomonosov.* 

The God of gods stood up — stood up to try 

The assembled gods of earth. " How long," he said, 

" How long will ye protect impiety, 

And let the vile one raise his daring head ? 

'Tis yours my laws to justify — redress 
All wrong, however high the wronger be ; 
Nor leave the widow and the fatherless 
To the cold world's uncertain sympathy. 

'Tis yours to guard the steps of innocence, 
To shield the naked head of misery ; 
Be 'gainst the strong, the helpless one's defence, 
And the poor prisoner from his chains to free." 

They hear not — see not — -know not — for their eyes 
Are covered with thick mists — they will not see : 
The sick earth groans with man's iniquities, 
And heaven is tired with man's perversity. 

Gods of the earth ! ye Kings ! who answer not 
To man for your misdeeds, and vainly think 
There's none to judge you : — know, like ours, your lot 
Is pain and death : — ye stand on judgement's brink. 

And ye like fading autumn-leaves will fall ; 
Your throne but dust — your empire but a grave — 
-Your martial pomp a black funereal pall — 
Your palace trampled by your meanest slave. 

God of the righteous ! O our God ! arise, 
O hear the prayer thy lowly servants bring : 
Judge, punish, scatter, Lord ! thy enemies, 
And be alone earth's universal king. 



LESSON XXXVI. 

Tlie House-builder. — Khemnitzer.* 

Whate'er thou purposest to do, 
With an unwearied zeal pursue ; 
To-day is thine — improve to-day, 
Nor trust to-morrow's distant ray. 

* From Bowring's Specimens of Russian Poets. 



94 THE AMERICAN [Lessen 37. 

A certain man a house would build ; 

The place is with materials filled ; 

And every thing is ready there — - 

Is it a difficult affair ? 

Yes ! till you fix the corner-stone ; 

It wont erect itself alone. 

Day rolls on day, and year on year, 

And nothing yet is done — 

There's always something to delay 

The business to another day. 

And thus in silent waiting stood 
The piles of stone and piles of wood ; 
Till Death, who in his vast affairs 
Ne'er puts things off — as men in theirs — 
And thus, if I the truth must tell, 
Does his work finally and well — 
Winked at our hero as he past, 
" Your house is finished, Sir, at last ; 
A narrower house — a house of clay — 
Your palace for another day /" 



LESSON XXXVII. 

Hope triumphant in death. — Campbell. 

Unfading Hope ! when life's last embers burn, 
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return, 
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour ! 
Oh ! then thy kingdom comes, Immortal Power ! 
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly 
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye ! 
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey 
The morning dream of life's eternal day — 
Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin ! 
And all the Phoenix spirit burns within ! 

Oh ! deep-enchanting prelude to repose, 
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes ! 
Yet half I hear the parting spirit sigh, 
It is a dread and awful thing to die ! 
Mysterious worlds, untraveiled by the sun ! 
Where Time's far-wandering tide has never run, 
From your unfathoined shades, and viewless spheres, 
A warning comes, unheard by other ears. 



Lesson 37.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 95 

'Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud, 
Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud ! 
While Nature hears, with terrour-mingled trust, 
The shock that hurls her fabrick to the dust ; 
And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod 
The roaring waves, and called upon his God, 
With mortal terrours clouds immortal bliss, 
And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss ! 

Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume 
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb ! 
Melt, and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll 
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul ! 
Fly, like the moon-ey'd herald of Dismay, 
Chas'd on his night-steed by the star of day ! 
The strife is o'er — the pangs of Nature close, 
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes. 
Hark ! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze, 
The noon of Heaven, undazzled by the blaze, 
On Heavenly winds that waft her to the sky, 
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody ; 
Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail 
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale, 
When Jordan hush'd his waves, and midnight still 
Watch'd on the holy towers of Zion hill ! 

Soul of the just ! companion of the dead ! 
Where is thy home, and whither art thou fled 1 
Back to its heavenly source thy being goes, 
Swift as the comet wheels to whence he rose ; 
Doom'd on his airy path awhile to burn, 
And doom'd, like thee, to travel, and return.- — 
Hark ! from the world's exploding centre driven, 
With sounds that shook the firmament of Heaven, 
Careers the fiery giant, fast and far, 
On bickering wheels, and adamantine car ; 
From planet whirl'd to planet more remote, 
He visits realms beyond the reach of thought ; 
But, wheeling homeward,, when his course is run, 
Curbs the red yoke, and mingles with the sun ! 
So hath the traveller of earth unfurl'd 
Her trembling wings, emerging from the world ; 
And, o'er the path by mortal never trod, 
Sprung to her source, the bosom of her God ! 



96 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 39. 

LESSON XXXVIII. 

Lines written during a thunder storm. — Dmitriev.* 

It thunders ! Sons of dust, in reverence bow ! 
Ancient of days ! Thou speakest from above : 
Thy right hand wields the bolt of terrour now ; 
That hand which scatters peace and joy and love. 
Almighty ! trembling like a timid child, 
I hear thy awful voice — alarmed — afraid — 
I see the flashes of thy lightning wild, 
And in the very grave would hide my head. 

Lord ! what is man 1 Up to the sun he flies — 
Or feebly wanders through earth's va^e of dust : 
There is he lost midst heaven's high m ; steries, 
And here in errour and in darkness lost : 
Beneath the storm-clouds, on life's raging sea, 
Like a poor sailor — by the tempest tost 
In a frail bark — the sport of destiny, 
He sleeps — and dashes on the rocky coast. 

Thou breathest ; — and the obedient storm is still : 
Thou speakest ;— silent the submissive wave : 
Man's shattered ship the rushing waters fill, 
And the hush'd billows roll across his grave. 
Sourceless and endless God ! compared with Thee, 
Life is a shadowy, momentary dream : 
And time, when viewed through Thy eternity, 
Less than the mote of morning's golden beam. 



LESSON XXXIX. 

Interview hetween Waverley and Fergus Mac-Ivor, at Carlisle, 
previous to the execution of the latter. — Waverley. 

After a sleepless night, the first dawn of morning found 
Waverley on the esplanade in front of the old Gothick gate 
of Carlisle castle. But he paced it long in every direction, 
before the hour when, according to the rules of the garri- 
son, the gates were opened, and the drawbridge lowered. 
He produced his order to the sergeant of the guard, and was 
admitted. The place of Fergus's confinement was a gloomy 

* Bowring's Specimens of Russian Poets. 



Lesson 39.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 97 

and vaulted apartment in the central part of the castle ; a 
huge old tower, supposed to be of great antiquity, and sur- 
rounded by out works, seemingly of Henry VIII's time, or 
somewhat later. The grating of the huge old-fashioned 
bars and bolts, withdrawn for the purpose of admitting Ed- 
ward, was answered bv the clash of chains, as the unfor- 
tunate chieftain, strongly and heavily fettered, shuffled 
along the stone floor of his prison, to fling himself into his 



friend's arms. 



" My dear Edward," he said, in a firm and even cheerful 
voice, " this is truly kind. I heard of your approaching 
happiness with the highest pleasure ; and how does Rose ? 
and how is our old whimsical friend the Baron ? Well, I 
am sure, from your looks — and how will you settle prece- 
dence between the three ermines passant, and the bear and 
boot-jack T" — " How, Ohow, my dear Fergus, can you talk 
of such things at such a moment ?" — " Why, we have en- 
tered Carlisle with happier auspices, to be sure — on the 
16th of November last, for example, when we marched in, 
side by side, and hoisted the white flag on these ancient 
towers. But I am no dboy, to sit down and weep because 
the luck has gone against me. I knew the stake which I 
risked ; we played the game boldly, and the forfeit shall be 
paid manfully. 

"You are rich," he continued, " Waverley, and you are 
generous ; when you hear of these poor Mac-Ivors being 
distressed about their miserable possessions by some harsh 
overseer or agent of governmert, remember you have worn 
their tartan, and are an adopted son of their race. The 
Baron, who knows our manners, and lives near our country, 
will apprize you of the time and means to be their protect- 
or. Will you promise this to the last Vich Ian Vohr ?" — 
Edward, as may well be believed, pledged his word ; which 
afterwards he so amply redeemed, that his memory still 
lives in these glens by the name of the Friend of the Sons 
of Ivor. — "Would to God," continued the chieftain, "I 
could bequeath to you my rights to the love and obedience 
of this primitive and brave race : or at least, as I have strik- 
en to do, persuade poor Evan to accept of his life upon their 
terms ; and be to you what he has been to me, the kindest 
— the bravest — the most devoted — " 

The tears which his own fate could not draw forth, fell 
fost for that of his foster-brother. u But," said he, drying 
them, M that cannot be. You cannot be to hem Vick laa 

9 



03 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 39. 

Vohr ; and these three magick words," said he, half smiling, 
" are the only Open Sesame to their feelings and sympa- 
thies ; and poor Evan must attend his foster-brother in death, 
as he has done through his whole life." — " And J am sure/' 
said Maccombich, raising himself from the floor, on which, 
for fear of interrupting their conversation, he had lain so 
still, that, in the obscurity of the apartment, Edward was 
not aware of his presence, — " I am sure Evan never de- 
sired nor deserved a better end than just to die with his 
chieftain." 

A tap at the door now announced the arrival of the priest ; 
and Edward retired while he administered to both prisoners 
the last rites of religion, in the mode which the church of 
Home prescribes. In about an hour he was re-admitted. 
Soon after, a file of soldiers entered with a blacksmith, who 
struck the fetters from the legs of the prisoners. " You 
see the compliment they pay to our Highland strength and 
courage ; we have lain chained here like wild beasts, till 
our legs are cramped into palsy ; and when they free us, 
they send six soldiers with loaded muskets to prevent our 
taking the castle by storm." | 

Shortly after, the drums of the garrison beat to arms. 
" This is the last turn out," said Fergus, " that I shall hear 
and obey. And now, my dear, dear Edward, ere we part 
let us speak of Flora, — a subject which awakes the ten- 
derest feeling that yet thrills within me." — " We part not 
here V said Waverley. " O yes, we do, you must come no 
farther. Not that I fear what is to follow for myself, 7 ' he 
said proudly ; " nature has her tortures as well as art, and 
how happy should we think the man who escapes from the 
throes of a mortal and painful disorder in the space of a 
short half hour ! And this matter, spin it out as they will, 
cannot last longer. But what a dying man can suffer "firm- 
ly, may kill a living friend to look upon. 

" This same law of high treason," he continued, with as- 
tonishing firmness and composure, " is one of the blessings, 
Edward, with which your free country has accommodated 
poor old Scotland : her own jurisprudence, as I have heard, 
was much milder. But I suppose, one day or other, when 
♦here are no longer any wild Highlanders to benefit by its 
tender mercies, thev will blot it from their records, as lev- 
el ling them with a nation of cannibals. The mummery, too* 
of exposing the senseless head! they have not the wit to 
gj-ace mine with a paper coronet ; there would be some 



Lesson 39.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 99 

satire in that, Edward. I hope they will set it on the Scotch 
gate though, that I may look, even after death, to the blue 
hills of my own country, that I love so dearly !" 

A bustle, and the sound of wheels and horses' feet, was 
now heard in the court-yard of the castle. — An officer ap- 
peared, and intimated that the high sheriff and his attendants 
waited before the gate of the castle, to claim the bodies of 
Fergus Mac-Ivor and Evan Maecombieh : "I come," said 
Fergus. Accordingly, supporting Edward by the arm, and 
followed by Evan Dim and the priest, he moved down the 
stairs of the tower, the soldiers bringing up the rear. The 
court was occupied by a squadron of dragoons and a battal- 
ion of infantry, drawn up in a hollow square. 

Within their ranks was the sledge or hurdle, on which the 
prisoners were to be drawn to the place of execution, about 
a mile distant from Carlisle. It was painted black, and 
drawn by a white horse. At one end of the vehicle sat the 
executioner, a horrid looking fellow, as beseemed his trade, 
with the broad axe in his hand ; at the other end, next the 
horse, was an empty seat for two persons. Through the 
deep and dark Gothick archway that opened on the draw- 
bridge, were seen on horseback the high sheriff and his at- 
tendants, whom the etiquette betwixt the civil and military 
power did not permit to come farther. 

" This is well got uf for a closing scene,'' said Fergus, 
smiling disdainfully as he gazed around upon the apparatus 
of terrour. Evan Dim exclaimed with some eagerness, after 
looking at the dragoons, "These are the very chields that 
gallopped off at Gladsmuir ere we could kill a dozen of 
them. They look bold enough now, however." The priest 
entreated him to be silent. 

The sledge now approached, and Fergus turning round 
embraced Waverley, kissed him on each side of the face, 
and stepped nimbly into his place. Evan sat down by his 
side. The priest was to follow in a carriage belonging to 
his patron, the Catholick gentleman at whose house Flora 
resided. As Fergus waved his hand to Edward, the ranks 
closed around the sledge, and the whole procession began 
to move forward. 

There was a momentary stop at the gateway, while the 
goyernour of the castle and the high sheriff went through a 
short ceremony, the military officer there delivering: over 
the persons of the criminals to the civil power. " God save 
King Georg-e ! ?? said the high sheriff. When the formality 



100 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 40. 

concluded, Fergus stood erect in the sledge, and with a firm 
and steady voice replied, " God save King James!" These 
were the last words which Waverley heard him speak. 

The procession resumed its march, and the sledge van- 
ished from beneath the portal, under which it had stopped 
for an instant. The dead march, as it is called, was in- 
stantly heard ; and its melancholy sounds were mingled 
with those of a" muffled peal, tolled from the neighbouring 
cathedral. The sound of the military musiek died away as 
the procession moved on ; the sullen clang of the bells was 
soon heard to sound alone. 

The last of the soldiers had now disappeared from under 
the vaulted archway through whiph they had been filing for 
several minutes ; the court-yard was now totally empty, but 
Waverley still stood there as if stupified, his eyes fixed 
upon the dark pass where he had so lately seen the last 
glimpse of. his friend.— At length, a female servant of the 
governour, struck with surprise and compassion at the stu- 
pified misery which his countenance expressed, asked him 
if he would not walk into her master's house and sit down ? 
She was obliged to repeat her question twice ere he com- 
prehended her ; but at length it recalled him to himself.- — 
Declining the courtesy, by a hasty gesture, he pulled his 
hat over his eyes, and, leaving the castle, walked as swiftly 
as he could through the empty streets, till he regained 
his inn; then threw himself into an apartment and bolted 
the door* 

In about an hour and an half, which seemed an age of un- 
utterable suspense, the sound of the drums and fifes, per- 
forming a lively air, and the confused murmur of the crowd 
which now filled the streets, so lately deserted, apprised 
him that all was over, and that the military and populace 
were returning from the dreadful scene. 1 will not attempt 
to describe his sensations. 



LESSON XL. 

Egyptian Mummies. Tombs, and Manners. — Bjelzoni. 

Gournou is a tract of rocks, about two miles in length, at 
the foot of the Lybian mountains, on the w r est of Thebes, 
and was the burial-place of the great city of a hundred 
gates. Every part of these rocks is cut out by art, in the 



Lesson 40.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 101 

form of large and small chambers, each of which has its 
separate entrance ; and, though they are very close to each 
other, it is seldom that there is any interiour communi- 
cation from one to another. I can truly say, it is impossi- 
ble to give any description sufficient to convey the smallest 
idea of those subterranean abodes and their inhabitants. 
There are no sepulchres in any part of the world like them ; 
there are fro excavations, or mines, that can be compared to 
these truly astonishing places ; and no exact description can 
be given of their interiour, owing to the difficulty of visit- 
ing these recesses. The inconveniency of entering into 
them is such, that it is not every one who can support the 
exertion. 

A traveller is generally satisfied when he has seen the 
large hall, the gallery, the staircase, and as far as he can 
conveniently go : besides, he is taken up with the strange 
works he observes cut in various places, and painted on each 
side of the walls ; so that when he comes to a narrow and 
difficult passage, or a descent to the bottom of a well or 
cavity, he declines taking such trouble, naturally suppos- 
ing that he cannot see in 4:hese abysses any thing so mag- 
nificent as what he sees above, and consequently deeming 
it useless to proceed any farther. 

Of some of these tombs many persons could not withstand 
the suffocating air, which often causes fainting. A vast quan- 
tity of dust rises, so fine that it enters into the throat and 
nostrils, and chokes the nose and mouth to such a degree, 
that it requires great power of lungs to resist it, and the 
strong effluvia of the mummies. This is not all ; the entry 
or passage where the bodies are, is roughly cut in the rocks, 
and the falling of the sand from the upper part or ceiling of 
the passage causes it to be nearly filled up. In some places 
there is not more than a vacancy of a foot left, which you 
must contrive to pass through in a creeping posture like a 
snail, on pointed and keen stones, that cut like glass. 

After getting through these passages, some of them two 
or three hundred yards long, you generally find a more com- 
modious place, perhaps high enough to sit. But what a place 
of rest ! surrounded by bodies, by heaps of mummies in all 
directions ; which, previous to my being accustomed to the 
sight, impressed me with horrour. The blackness of the wall, 
the faint light given by the candles or torches for want of 
air, the different objects that surrounded me, seeming to 
converse with each other, and the Arabs with the candles or 

9* 



102 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 40. 

torches in their hands, naked and covered with dust, them- 
selves resembling living mummies, absolutely formed a scene 
that cannot be described. In such a situation I found my- 
self several times, and often returned exhausted and faint- 
ing, till at last I became inured to it, and indifferent to what 
I suffered, except from the dust, which never failed to choke 
my throat and nose ; and though, fortunately, I am desti- 
tute of the sense of smelling, I could taste that the mum- 
mies were rather unpleasant to swallow. 

After the exertion of entering into such a place, through 
a passage of fifty, a hundred, three hundred, or perhaps six 
hundred yards, nearly overcome, I sought a resting-place, 
found one, and contrived to sit ; but when my weight bore 
on the body of an Egyptian, it crushed like a band-box. I 
naturally had recourse to my hands to sustain my weight, 
but they found no bettor support ; so that I sank altogether 
among the broken mummies, with a crash of bones, rags, 
and wooden cases, which raised such a dust as kept me mo- 
tionless for a quarter of an hour, waiting till it subsided 
again. I could not remove from the place, however, with- 
out increasing it, and every step I took I crushed a mummy 
in some part or other. 

Once I was conducted from such a place to another re- 
sembling it, through a passage of about twenty feet in 
length, and no wider than what a body could be forced 
through. It was choked with mummies, and I could not 
pass without putting my face in contact with that of some 
decayed Egyptian ; but as the passage inclined downwards, 
my own weight helped me on ; however, I could not avoid 
being covered with bones, legs, arnis, and heads, rolling 
from above. Thus I proceeded from one cave to another, 
all full of mummies piled up in various ways, some standing, 
some lyinff, and some on their heads. 

The purpose of my researches was to rob the Egyptians 
of their papyri ; of which I found a few hidden in their 
breasts, under their arms, in the space above the knees, or 
on the legs, and covered by the numerous folds of cloth that 
envelop the mummy. The people of Gournou, who make 
a trade of antiquities of this sort, are very jealous of stran- 
gers, and keep them as secret as possible ; deceiving travel- 
lers, by pretending that they have arrived at the end of the 
pits, when they are scarcely at the entrance. * * * 

I r^ust not oiy't, that among these tombs we saw some 
which contained the mummies of animals intermixed with 



Lesson 40.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 103 

human bodies. There were bulls, cows, sheep, monkeys, 
foxes, bats, crocodiles, fishes, and birds in them : idols often 
occur ; and one tomb was filled with nothing but cats, care- 
fully folded in red and white linen, the head covered bv a 
mask representing the cat, and made of the same linen. I 
hare opened all these sorts of animals. Of the bull, the 
calf, and the sheep, there is no part but the head which is 
covered with linen, and the horns project out of the cloth ; 
the rest of the body being represented by two pieces of 
wood, eighteen inches wide, and three feet long, in a hor- 
izontal direction, at the end of which was another, placed 
perpendicularly, two feet high, to form the breast of the 
animal. The calves and sheep are of the same structure, 
and large in proportion to the bulls. The monkey is in its 
Aill form, in a sitting posture. The fox is squeezed up by 
the bandages, but in some measure the shape of the head is 
kept perfect. The crocodile is left in its own shape, and 
after being well bound round with linen, the eyes and mouth 
are painted on this covering. The birds are squeezed to- 
gether, and lose their shape, except the ibis, which is found 
like a fowl ready to be cooked, and bound round with linen 
like all the rest. * * * 

The next sort of mummy that drew my attention, I be- 
lieve I may with reason conclude to have been appropriated 
to the priests. They are folded in a manner totally differ- 
ent from the others, and so carefully executed, as to show 
the great respect paid to those personages. The bandages 
are stripes of red and white linen intermixed, covering the 
whole body, and producing a curious effect from the two 
colours. The arms and legs are not enclosed in the same 
envelope with the body, as in the common mode, but are 
bandaged separately, even the fingers and toes being pre- 
served distinct. They have sandals of painted leather on 
their feet, and bracelets on their arms and wrists. They 
are always found with the arms across the breast, but not 
pressing it ; and though the body is bound with such a quan- 
tity of linen, the shape of the person is carefully preserved 
in every limb. The cases in which mummies of this sort 
are found, are somewhat better executed, and I have seen 
one that had the eyes and eyebrows of enamel, beautifully 
executed in imitation of nature. * * * 

The dwelling-place of the natives is generally in the pas- 
sages, between the first and second entrance into a tomb. 
The walls and the roof are as black as any chimney. The 



104 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 40. 

inner door is closed up with mud, except a small ap'erture 
sufficient for a man to crawl through. Within this place the 
sheep are kept at night, and occasionally accompany their 
masters in their vocal concert. Over the door-way there 
are always some half-broken Egyptian figures, and the two 
foxes, the usual guardians of burial-places. A small lamp, 
kept alive by fat from the sheep, or rancid oil, is placed in 
a niche in the wall, and a mat is spread on the ground ; and 
this formed the grand divan' wherever I was. 

There the people assembled round me, their conversation 
turning wholly on antiquities. Such a one had found such 
a thing, and another had discovered a tomb. Various articles 
were brought to sell to me, and sometimes I had reason to 
rejoice at having stayed there. I was sure of a supper of 
milk and bread served in a wooden bowl ; but whenever 
they supposed I should stay all night, they always killed a 
couple of fow T ls for me, which were baked in a small oven 
heated with pieces of mummy cases, and sometimes with 
the bones and rags of the mummies themselves. It is no 
uncommon thing to sit down near fragments of bones : hands, 
feet, or skulls, are often in the way ; for these people are 
so accustomed to be among the mummies, that they think 
no more of sitting on them than on the skins of their dead 
calves. I also became indifferent about them at last, and 
would have slept in a mummy pit as readily as out of it. 

Here they appear to be contented. The labourer comes 
home in the evening, seats himself near his cave, smokes 
his pipe with his companions, and talks of the last inunda- 
tion of the Nile, its products, and what the ensuing season 
is likely to be. His old wife brings him the usual bowl of 
lentils and bread moistened with water and salt, and (when 
she can add a little butter) it is a feast. Knowing nothing 
beyond this, he is happy. The young man's chief business 
is to accumulate the amazing sum of a hundred piastres 
(eleven dollars and ten cents,) to buy himself a wife, and to 
make a feast on the wedding-day. 

If he have any children, they want no clothing: he leaves 
them to themselves tili mother Nature pleases to teach them 
to work, to gain money enough to buy a shirt or some other 
rag to cover themselves ; for while they are children ther 
are generally naked or covered with rags. The parents 
are roguishly cunning, and the children are schooled by 
their example, so that it becomes a matter of course to 
cheat sf rangers. Would any one believe that, in such a 



Lesson 41.] FIRST CLASS BOOK 105 

state of life, luxury and ambition exist 1 If any woman be 
destitute of jewels, she is poor, and looks with envy on one 
more fortunate than herself, who perhaps has the worth of 
half a crown round her neck ; and she who has a few glass 
beads, or some sort of coarse coral, a couple of silver 
brooches, or rings on her arms and legs, is considered as 
truly rich and great. Some of them are as complete co- 
quettes in their way as any to be seen in the capitals of 
Europe. 

When a young man wants to marry, he goes to the fa- 
ther of the intended bride, and agrees with him what he is 
to pay for her. This being settled, so much money is to be 
spent on the wedding-day feast. To set up housekeeping 
nothing is requisite but two or three earthen pots, a stone 
to grind meal, and a mat, which is the bed. The spouse 
has a gown and jewels of her own; and, if the bridegroom 
present her with a pair of bracelets of silver, ivory, or 
glass, she is happy and fortunate indeed. 

The house is ready, without rent or taxes. No rain can 
pass through the roof ; and there is no door, for there is no 
want of one, as there is nothing to lose. They make a kind 
of box of clay and straw, which, after two or three days' 
exposure to the sun, becomes quite hard. It is fixed on a 
stand, an ap'erture is left to put all their precious things into 
it, and a piece of mummy-case forms the door. If the house 
does not please them, they walk out and enter another, as 
there are several hundreds at their command ; I might say 
several thousands, but they are not all fit to receive in- 
habitants. 



LESSON XLI. 

Address to the Mummy in BehonPs Exhibition , London 

New Monthly Magazine. 

And thou hast walk'd about (how strange a story !) 
In Thebes's streets three thousand years a^o, 

T-vr 

\v hen the Memnonium was in ail its fflorv, 

And time had not be£'im to overthrow 
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous, 
Of which the very ruins are tremendous. 

Speak ! for thou long enough hast acted Dummy, 
Tiou hast a tongue — come let us hear its tune ; 



106 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 41. 

Thou'rt standing on thy legs, above ground, Mummy ! 

Revisiting the glimpses of the moon, 
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures, 
But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs and features. 

Tell us — for doubtless thou canst recollect, 

To whom should we assign the sphinx's fame 1 

Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect 

Of either Pyramid that bears his name 1 

Is Pompey's pillar really a misnomer 1 

Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer ? 

Perhaps thou wert a Mason, and forbidden 
By oath to tell the mysteries of thy trade, 

Then say what secret melody was hidden 

In Mention's statue which at sunrise played 1 

Perhaps thou wert a Priest — if so, my struggles 

Are vain ; — Egyptian priests ne'er owned their juggles. 

Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat, 
Has hob-a-nobb'd with Pharaoh glass to glass ; 

Or dropped a halfpenny in Homer's hat, 

Or doffed thine own to let Queen Dido pass, 

Or held, by Solomon's own invitation, 

A torch at the great Temple's dedication. 

I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed, 
Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled, 

For thou wert dead, and buried, and embalmed, 
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled : — 

Antiquity appears to have begun 

Long after thy primeval race was run. 

Since first thy form was in this box extended, 

We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations ; 

The Roman empire has begun and ended ; 

New worlds have risen — we have lost old nations, 

And countless kings have into dust been humbled, 

While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled. 

Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head 
When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses, 

March'd armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread, 
O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis, 

And shook the Pyramids ovith fear and wonder, 

Wheo the gigantick Memnon mil asunder ? 



Lesson 42.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 107 

If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed, 

The nature of thy private life unfold : — 
A heart has throbb'd beneath that leathern breast, 

And tears adown that dusky cheek have rolled : — 
Have children climb'd those knees, and kissed that face ? 
What was thv name and station, age and race ? 

Statue of flesh — immortal of the dead! 

Imperishable type of evanescence ! 
Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed, 

And standest undecayed within our presence, 
Thou wilt hear nothing; till the Judgement morning, 
When the great trump shall thrill thee with its warning?. 

Why should this worthless tegument endure, 

If its undying guest be lost for ever 1 
O let us keep the soul embalmed and pure 

In living virtue ; that when both must sever, 
Although corruption may our frame consume, 
Th' immortal spirit in the skies may bloom. 



LESSON XLII. 

Green River. — Bryant. 

When breezes are soft, and skies are fair, 
I steal an hour from study and care, 
And hie me awav to the woodland scene, 
Where wanders the stream with waters of green, 
As if the bright fringe of herbs on its brink 
Had given their stain to the wave they drink. 
And they, whose meadows it murmurs through, 
Have named the stream from its own fair hue. 

Yet pure its waters, its shallows are bright 
With coloured pebbles and sparkles of light, 
And clear the depths where the eddies play, 
And dimples deepen and whirl away ; 
And the plane-tree's speckled arms overshoot 
The swifter current that mines its root ; 
Through whose shifting leaves, as you walk the hill, 
The quivering glimmer of sun and rill 
W ith a sudden flash on the eye is thrown, 
Like the ray that streams from the diamond stone- 
O, loveliest there the spring days come, 
With blossoms, and birds, and wild bees' hum ; 



108 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 452 



.<*» 



y 



The flowers of summer are fairest there, 
And freshest the breeze of the summer air, 
And the swimmer comes, in the season of heat, 
To bathe in those waters so pure and sweet. 

Yet, fair as thou art, thou slimmest to glide, 
Beautiful stream ! by the village side, 
But windest awav from haunts of men, 
To silent valley, and shaded glen. 
And forest, and meadow, and slope of hill, 
Around thee, are lonely, lovely, and still. 
Lonely — save when, by thy rippling tides, 
From thicket to thicket the angler glides ; 
Or the simpler comes, with basket and book, 
For herbs of power on thy banks to look ; 
Or haply some idle dreamer like me, 
To wander, and muse, and gaze on thee. 
Still — save die chirp of birds that feed 
On the river cherry and seedy reed ; 
And thy own wild musick, gushing out 
With mellow murmur, or fairy shout, 
From dawn to the blush of another dav, 
Like traveller singing along his way. 

That fairy musick I never hear, 
Nor gaze on those waters so green and clear, 
And mark them winding away from sight, 
Darkened with shade, or flashing with light, 
While o'er thee, the vine to its thicket clings, 
And the zephyr stoops to freshen his wings ; — 
But I wish that fate had left me free 
To wander these quiet haunts with thee, 
Till the eating cares of earth should depart, 
And the peace of the scene pass into my heart ; 
And I envy thy stream as it glides along 
Through its beautiful banks, in a trance of song. 
Though forced to drudge for the dregs of men, 
And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen 
And mingle among the jostling crowd, 
Where the sons of strife are subtle and loud ; 
I sometimes come to this quiet place, 
To breathe the air that ruffles thy face, 
And gaze upon thee in silent dream ; 
For, in thy lonely and lovely stream, 
Au image of that calm life appears 
That won my heart in my greener yeara* 



Lesson 43. J FIRST CLASS BOOK. 109 

LESSON XLIII. 

The mutual relation between sleep and night. — Paley. 

The relation of sleep to night appears to have been ex- 
pressly intended by our benevolent Creator. Two points 
are manifest ; first, that the animal frame requires sleep ; 
secondly, that night brings with it a silence, and a cessation 
of activity, which allow of sleep being taken without inter- 
ruption, and without loss. Animal existence is made up of 
action and slumber : nature has provided a season for each. 
An animal which stood not in neod of rest, would always live 
in day-light. An animal, which, though made tor action, 
and delighting in action, must have its strength repaired by 
sleep, meets, by its constitution, the returns of day and 
night. In the human species, for instance, were the bustle, 
the labour, the motion of life upheld by the constant pres- 
ence of light, sleep could not be enjoyed without being dis- 
turbed by noise, and without expense of that time which the 
eagerness of private interest would not contentedly resign. 
It is happy, therefore, for this part of the creation, I mean 
that it is conformable to the frame and wants of their con- 
stitution, that nature, by the very disposition of her ele- 
ments, has commanded, as it were, and imposed upon them, 
at moderate intervals, a general intermission of their toils, 
their occupations, and their pursuits. 

But it is not for man, either solely or principally, that 
night is made. Inferiour, but less perverted natures, taste 
its solace, and expect its return, with greater exactness and 
advantage than he does. I have often observed, and never 
observed but to admire, the satisfaction, no less than the 
regularity, with which the greatest part of the irrational 
world yield to this soft necessity, this grateful vicissitude; 
how comfortably the birds of the air, for example, ad- 
dress themselves to the repose of the evening ; with what 
alertness they resume the activity of the day. 

Nor does it disturb our argument to confess, that certain 
species of animals are in motion during the night, and at 
rest in the day. With respect even to them, it is still true, 
that there is a change of condition in the animal, and an ex- 
ternal change corresponding with it. There is still the re- 
lation, though inverted. The fact is, that the repose of 
other animals sets these at liberty, and invites them to their 
r ood or their sport. 

10 



110 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 44. 

If the relation of sleep to night, and in some instances, 
its converse, be real, we cannot reflect without amazement 
upon the extent to which it carries us. Day and night are 
things close to us ; the change applies immediately to our 
sensations ; of all the phenomena of nature, it is the most 
obvious, and Jie most familiar to our experience : but, in its 
cause, it belongs to the great motions which are passing in 
the heavens. Whilst the earth glides round her axle, she 
ministers to the alternate necessities of the animals dwelling 
upon her surface, at the same time that she obeys the influ- 
ence of thase attractions which regulate the order of many 
thousand w orlds. The relation therefore of sleep to night, 
is the relation of the inhabitants of the earth to the rotation 
of their globe : probably it is more ; it is a relation to the 
system, of which that globe is a part ; and, still further, to 
the congregation of systems, of which theirs is only one. 
If this account be true, it connects the meanest individual 
with the universe itself; a chicken, roosting upon its perch, 
with the spheres revolving in the firmament. 



LESSON XLIV. 

Social worship agreeable to the best impulses of our nature. — 

Mrs. Barbauld. 

Sentiments of admiration, love, a£d :^'", swell the bosom 
with emotions which seek for feUo^shfe and communication. 
The flame indeed may bs kiiidied by silent musing ; but 
when kindled it must infallibly spread. The devout heart, 
penetrated with large and affecting views of the immensity 
of the works of God, the harmony of his laws, and the ex- 
tent of his beneficence, bursts into loud and vocal expres- 
sions of praise and adoration ; and from a full and overflow- 
ing sensibility, seeks to expand itself to the utmost limits of 
creation. The mind is forcibly carried out of itself, and, 
embracing the whole circle of animated existence, calls on 
all above, around, below, to help to bear the burden of its 
gratitude. Joy is too brilliant a thing to be confined within 
our own bosoms ; it burnishes all nature, and with its vivid 
colouring gives a kind of factitious life to objects without 
sense or motion. There cannot be a more striking proof 
of the social tendency of these feelings, than the strong pro- 
pt. j nsity we have to suppose auditors when there are none. 



Lesson 45.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. It] 

When men are wanting, we address the animal cieation; 
and rather than have none to partake of our feelings, we 
find sentiment in the musick of birds, the /mm of insects, 
and the low of kine : nay, we call on rocks nnd streams and 
forests to witness and share our emotions. Hence the roval 
shepherd, sojourning in caves and solitary wastes, calls on 
the hills to rejoice, and the floods to clap their hands : and 
the lonely poet, wandering in the deep recesses of unculti- 
vated nature, finds a temple in every solemn grove, and 
swells his chorus of praise with the winds that bow the lof- 
ty cedars. And can he, who, not satisfied with the wide 
range of animated existence, calls for the sympathy of the 
inanimate creation, refuse to worship with his fellow men 7 
Can he who bids "Nature attend," forget to "join every 
living soul" in the universal hymn 1 Shall we suppose 
companions in the stillness of deserts, and shall we overlook 
them amongst friends and townsmen? It cannot be! So- 
cial worship, for the devout heart, is not m )re a duty than 
it is a real want. 



LESSON XLV. 

Dialogue between Lord Bacon and Shakspeare. — Black- 
wood's Magazine.* 

Lord Bacon, (in his study,) Now, my pen, rest awhile. 
The air of this dark and thou^ht-stirri^!? chamber must not 
be breathed too long at a time, lest my wits grovr sluggish 
by reason of too much poring. I will go forth and walk. 
But first let me restore to their shelves these wormwood 
schoolmen. Come, gray-beard Aristotle, mount thou first, 
and tell the spiders not to be astonished if their hol^s are 
darkened, for a seraphick doctor is about to follow. fteotus 
and Ramus, why these dog-ears ? It was once a different 
sort. And now, as I lift each book, methinks its cumbrous 
leaves club all their syllogisms, and conspire to wei'/h down 
that feeble arm, which has just been employed in transcrib- 
ing the Novum Organon. Alas ! that folly and falsehood 
should be so hard to grapple with — but he that hopes to 

* This dialogue was abridged by the editor of " The Scrap Book" 
from a Series of Essays in Blackwood^ Edinburgh Magazine, entitled 
M Time's Magic!: Lantern," 



112 THE AMERICAN. \ Lesson 45. 

L 

make mankind the wiser for his labours must not be soon 
tired. My single brain is matched against the errours of 
thousands ; and yet every time I return to reflect upon the 
laws of nature, she meets my thoughts with a more palpa- 
ble sanction, and a voice seems to whisper from the midst 

of her machinery, that I have not inquired in vain. Ho ! 

who waits in the antichamber there ? Does any one desire 
an audience 1 

Page, The Queen has sent unto your lordship, Mr. Will- 
iam Shakspeare the player. 

Bacon. Indeed ! — I have wished to see that man. Show 
him in. Report says, her majesty has lately tasked him to 
write a play upon a subject chosen by herself. Good-mor- 
row, Mr. Shakspeare. 

Shakspeare. Save your lordship ! here is an epistle from 
her majesty. 

Bacon. (Reads.) " The Queen desires, that as Mr. Shaks- 
peare would fain have some savour of the Queen's own 
poor vein of poesy, he may be shown the book of sonnets, 
written by herself, and now in the keeping of my Lord 
Chancellor, who indeed may well keep what he hath so 
much flattered ; although she does not command him to hide 
it altogether from the knowing and judicious." 

Shakspeare. How gracious is her majesty ! Sure the 
pen, for which she exchanges her sceptre, cannot choose but 
drop golden thoughts. 

Bacon. You say well, Mr. Shakspeare. But let us sit 
down and discourse awhile. The sonnets will catch no 
harm by our delay, for true poetry, they say, hath a bloom 
which time cannot blight. 

Shakspeare. True, my lord. Near to Castalia there bub- 
bles also a fountain of petrifying water, wherein the muses 
are wont to dip whatever posies have met the approval of 
Apollo ; so that the slender foliage, which originally sprung 
forth in the cherishing brain of a true poet, becomes hard- 
ened in all its leaves, and glitters as if it were carved out of 
rubies and emeralds. The elements have afterwards no 
power over it. 

Bacon. Such will be the fortune of your own productions. 

Shakspeare, Ah, my lord ! do not encourage me to hope 
so. I am but a poor unlettered man, who seizes whatever 
rude conceits his own natural vein supplies him with, upon 
the enforcement of haste and necessitv : and therefore I 
fear that such as are of deeper studies than myself, will 



Ltssoh&l FIRST CLASS BOOR. 113 

find many flaws in my handiwork to laugh at both now and 
hereafter. 

Bacon. He that can make the multitude laugh and weep 
as you do, Mr. Shakspeare, need not fear scholars. — A head 
naturally fertile and for'getive is worth many libraries, inas- 
much as a tree is more valuable than a basket of fruit, or 
a good hawk better than a bag full of game, or the little 
purse which a fairy gave to Fortunatus more inexhaustible 
than all the coffers in the treasury. More scholarship might 
have sharpened your judgement, but the particulars whereof 
a character is composed, are better assembled by force of 
imagination, than of judgement, which, although it perceive 
coherences, cannot summon up materials, nor melt them 
into a compound, with that felicity which belongs to imagi 
nation alone. 

Shakspeare* My lord, thus far I know, that the first 
glimpse and conception of a character in my mind is always 
engendered by chance and accident. We shall suppose, for 
instance, that I am sitting in a tap-room, or standing in a 
tennis-court. The behaviour of some one fixes my atten- 
tion. I note his dress, the sound of his voice, the turn of 
his countenance, the drinks he calls for, his questions and 
retorts, the fashion of his person, and, in brief, the whole 
out-goings and in-comings of the man. — These grounds of 
speculation being cherished and revolved in my fancy, it be- 
comes straightway possessed with a swarm of conclusions 
and beliefs concerning the individual. In walking home, I 
picture out to myself, what would be fitting for him to say 
or do upon any given occasion, and these fantasies being re- 
called at some after period, when I am writing a play, shape 
themselves into divers t mannikins, who are not long of being 
nursed into life. Thus comes forth Shallow, and Slender, 
and Mercutio, and Sir Andrew Agiiecheek. 

Bacon. These are characters who may be found alive in 
the streets. But how frame vou such interlocutors as Bru- 
tus and Coriolanus ? 

ShaJcspeare. By searching histories, in the first place, 
my lord, for the germ. The filling up afterwards comes 
rather from feeling than observation. I turn myself into a 
Brutus or a Coriolanus for the time ; and can, at least in 
fancy, partake sufficiently of the nobleness of their nature, 
to put proper words into their mouths. Observation will 
not supply the poet with every thing. He must have a 
stock of exalted sentiments in his own mind. 

10* 



114 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 4o 

Bacon. In truth, Mr. Shakspeare, you have observed the 
world so well, and so widely, that I can scarce believe you 
ever shut your eyes. I too, although much engrossed with 
other studies, am, in part, an observer of mankind. Their 
dispositions, and the causes of their good or bad fortune, 
cannot well be overlooked even by the most devoted ques- 
tioner of physical nature. But note the difference of hab- 
itudes. No sooner have I observed and got hold of partic- 
ulars, than they are taken up by my judgement to be com- 
mented upon, and resolved into general laws. Your imagi- 
nation keeps them to make pictures of. My judgement, if 
she find them to be comprehended under something already 
known by her, lets them drop, and forgets them ; for which 
reason, a certain book of essays, which I am writing, will 
be small in bulk, but I trust not light in substance. — Thus 
do men severally follow their inborn dispositions. 

Shakspeare. Every word of your lordship's will be an 
adage to after times. For my part, I know my own place, 
and aspire not after the abstruser studies : although I can 
give wisdom a welcome when she comes in my way. But 
the inborn dispositions, as your lordship has said, must not 
be warped from their natural bent, otherwise nothing but 
sterility will remain behind. A leg cannot be changed into 
an arm. Among stage-players, our first object is to exercise 
a new candidate, until we discover where his vein lies. 

'Bacon. I am told that you do not invent the plots of 
your own plays, but generally borrow them from some com- 
mon book of stories, such as Bocaccio's Decameron, or 
Cynthio's Novels. That practice must save a great expen- 
diture of thought and contrivance. 

Shakspeare. Tt does, my lord. I lack patience to invent 
the whole from the foundation. 

Bacon. If I guess aright, there is nothing so hard and 
troublesome as the invention of coherent incidents; and yet, 
methinks, after it is accomplished, it does not show so high 
a strain of wit as that which paints separate characters and 
objects well. Dexterity would achieve the making of a plot 
better than genius, which delights not so much in tracing 
a curious connexion among events, as in adorning a fantasy 
with bright colours, and eking it out with suitable appen- 
dages. Homer's plot hangs but ill together. It is indeed 
no better than a string of popular fables and superstitions, 
caught up from among the Greeks; and I believe that 
they who, in the time of Pisis'tratus, collected this poem, 



Lesson 45.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 116 

did more than himself to digest its particulars. His praise 
must therefore be found in this, that he reconceived, ampli- 
fied, and set forth, what was but dimly and poorly conceived 
by common men. 

Shakspeare. My knowledge of the tongues is but small, 
on which account I have read ancient authors mostly at 
second hand. I remember, when I first came to London, 
and began to be a hanger-on at the theatres, a great desire 
grew in me for more learning tjian had fallen to my share 
at Stratford ; but fickleness and impatience, and the bewil- 
derment caused by new objects, dispersed that wish into 
empty air. Ah, my lord, you cannot conceive what a strange 
thing it was for so impressible a rustick, to find himself 
turned loose in the midst of Babel ! My faculties wrought 
to such a degree, that I was in a dream all day long. My 
bent was not then toward comedy, for most objects seemed 
noble and of much consideration. The musick at the theatre 
ravished my young heart ; and amidst the goodly company 
of spectators, I beheld^ afar off, beauties who seemed to 
out-paragon Cleopatra of Egypt. Some of these primitive 
fooleries were afterwards woven into Romeo and Juliet. 

Bacon. Your Julius Csesar and your Richard the Third 
please me better. From my youth upward I have had a 
brain politick and discriminative, and less prone to marvel- 
ling and dreaming than to scrutiny. Some part of my juve- 
nile time was spent at the court of France, with our am- 
bassador, Sir Amias Paulet ; and, to speak the truth, although 
1 was surrounded by many dames of high birth and rare 
beauty, I carried oftener Machiavelli* in my pocket than 
a book of madrigals, and heeded not although these wan- 
tons made sport of my grave and scholar-like demeanour. 
When they would draw me forth to an encounter of their 
wit, I paij them off with flatteries, till they forgot their 
aim in thinking of themselves. Michael Angelo said of 
Painting, that she was jealous, and required the whole man, 
undivided. I was aware how much more truly the same 
thing might be saiJ of Philosophy, and therefore cared not 
how much the ruddy complexion of my youth was sullied 
over the midnight lamp, or my outward comeliness sacri- 
ficed to my inward advancement. 

Shalcspcarc. Speaking of bodily habitudes, is it true that 
your lordship swoons whenever the moon is eclipsed, even 
though unaware of what is then passing in the heavens 1 

* Pronounced Mac-Z-a-vcll-ye. 



116 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 46. 

Bacon. No more true, than that the moon eclipses when- 
ever I swoon. 

Shakspeare. I had it from your chaplain, my lord. 

Bacon. My chaplain is a worthy man ; he has so great 
a veneration for me, that he wishes to find marvels in the 
common accidents of my life. 

Shalcspeare. The same chaplain also told me, that a cer- 
tain arch in Trinity College, Cambridge, would stand until 
a greater man than your lordship should pass through it. 

Bacon. Did you ever pass through it, Mr. Shakspeare 1 

Shakspeare. No, my lord. I never was at Cambridge. 

Bacon. Then we cannot yet decide which of us two is 
the greater man. I am told that most of the professors 
there pass under the arch without fear, which indeed shows 
a Wise contermpt of the superstition. 

Shalcspeare. I rejoice to think that the world is yet to 
have a greater man than your lordship, since the arch must 
fall at last. 

Bacon. You say well, Mr. Shakspeare ; and now, if you 
will follow me into another chamber, I will show you the 
Queen's Book of Sonnets. 



LESSON XLVI. 

On the relative value of good sense and beauty, in the female 

sex. — Literary Gazette. 

Notwithstanding the lessons of moralists, and the dec- 
lamations of philosophers, it cannot be denied that all man- 
kind have a natural love, and even respect, for external 
beauty. In vain do they represent it as a thing of no value 
in itself, as a frail and perishable flower ; in vain do they 
exhaust all the depths of argument, all the stores of fancy, 
to prove the worthlessness of this amiable gift of nature. 
However persuasive their reasonings may appear, and how- 
ever we may, for a time, fancy ourselves convinced by them, 
we have in our breasts a certain instinct, which never fails 
to tell us, that all is not satisfactory, and though we may 
not be able to prove that they are wrong, we feel a con- 
viction that it is impossible that they should be right. 

They are certainly right in blaming those who are ren- 
dered vain by the possession of beauty, since vanity is at all 
times a fault : but there is a great difference between being 






Lesson m.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 117 

vain of a' thing, and being happy that we have it ; and that 
beauty, however little merit a woman can claim to herself 
for it, is really a quality which she may reasonably rejoics 
to possess, demands, I think, no very laboured proof. Every 
one naturally wishes to please. To this end we know how 
important it is that the first impression we produce should 
be favourable. Now this first impression is commonly pro- 
duced through the medium of the eye ; and this is fre- 
quently so powerful as to resist for a long time the oppos- 
ing evidence of subsequent observation. Let a man of 
even the soundest judgement be presented to two women, 
equally strangers to him, but the one extremely handsome, 
the other without any remarkable advantages of person, 
and he will, without deliberation, attach himself first to the 
former. All men seem in this to be actuated by the same 
principle as Socrates, who used to say, that when he saw a 
beautiful person, he always expected to see it animated by 
a beautiful soul. 

The ladies, however, often fall into the fatal errour of 
imagining that a fine person is, in our eyes, superiour to 
every other accomplishment, and those who are so happy as 
to be endowed with it, rely, with vain confidence, on its ir- 
resistible power, to retain hearts as well as to subdue them. 
— Hence the lavish care bestowed on the improvement of 
exteriour and perishable charms, and the neglect of solid and 
durable excellence ; hence the long list of arts that admin- 
ister to vanity and folly, the countless train of glittering 
accomplishments, and the scanty catalogue of truly valu- 
able acquirements, which compose, for the most part, the 
modern system of fashionable female education. Yet so far 
is beauty from being in our eyes an excuse for the want of 
a cultivated mind, that the women who are blessed with 
it, have, in reality, a much harder task to perform, than 
those of their sex who are not so distinguished. Even 
our self-love here takes part against them ; we feel asham- 
ed of having suffered ourselves to be caught like chil- 
dren, by mere outside, and perhaps even fall into the con 
trarv extreme. 

Could " the statue that enchants the world," — 'die Venus 
de Medicis, at the prayer of some new Pygmalion, become 
suddenly animated, how disappointed would he be, if she 
were not endowed with a soul, answerable to the inimitable 
perfection of her heavenly form 1 Thus it is with a fine 
woman, whose only accomplishment is external excellence. 



118 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 4 



■y 

• 



She may dazzle for a time ; but when a man has once 
thought, " what a pity that such a masterpiece should be 
but a walking statue !" her empire is at an end. 

On the other hand, when a woman, the plainness of 
whose features prevented our noticing her at first, is found, 
upon nearer acquaintance, to be possessed of the more 
solid and valuable perfections of the mind, the pleasure we 
feel in being so agreeably undeceived, makes her appear 
to still greater advantage : and as the mind of man, when 
left to itself, is naturally an enemy to all injustice, we, 
even unknown to ourselves, strive to repair the wrong we 
have involuntarily done her, by a double portion of atten- 
tion and regard. 

If these observations be founded in truth, it will appear 
that, though a woman with a cultivated mind may justly 
hope to please, without even any superiour advantages of 
person, the loveliest creature that ever came from the hand 
of her Creator can hope only for a transitory empire, un- 
less she unite with her beauty the more durable charm of 
intellectual excellence. 

The favoured child of nature, who combines in herself 
these united perfections, may be justly considered a^ the 
masterpiece of the creation — as the most perfect image of 
the Divinity here below. Man, the proud lord of the crea- 
tion, bows willingly his haughty neck beneath her gentle 
rule. Exalted, tender, beneficent is the love that she in- 
spires. Even Time himself shall respect the all-powerful 
magick of her beauty. Her charms may fade, but they shall 
never wither ; and memory still, in the evening of life, 
hanging with fond affection over the blanched rose, shall 
view, through the veil of lapsed years, the tender bud, the 
dawning promise, whose beauties once blushed before the 
beams of the morning sun. 



LESSON XLVIL 

A morning in the Highlands of Scotland. — Punishment of a 
Spy xohose employers had betrayed Rob Roy MacGregorJ* 

Rob Roy. 

I shall never forget the delightful sensation with which 

*■ At the time this celebrated Highland Chieftain was taken prisoner, 
Morris had been sent as a hostage for his personal safety, which being 
violated, excited the wrath so powerfully described in this extract. 






Lesson 47.] FIRST CLASS BOOK, 119 

I exchanged the dark, smoky, smothering atmosphere of the 
Highland hut, in which we had passed the srVht so uncom- 
fortably, for the refreshing fragrance of the morning air, 
and the glorious beams of the rising sun, which, from a tab- 
ernacle of purple and golden cjouds, were darted full on 
such a scene of natural romance and beauty as had never 
before greeted my eyes. To the left lay the valley, down 
which the Forth wandered on its easterly course, surround- 
ing the beautiful detached hill, with all its garland of woods. 
On the right, amid a profusion of thickets, knolls, and 
crags, lay the bed of a broad mountain lake, lightly curled 
into tiny waves by the breath of the morning breeze, each 
glittering in its course under the influence of the sunbeams. 
High hills, rocks, and banks, waving with natural forests of 
birch and oak, formed the borders of this enchanting sheet 
of water ; and, as their leaves rustled to the wind and twin- 
kled in the sun, gave to the depth of solitude a sort of life 
and vivacity. Man alone seemed to be placed in a state of 
inferiority, in a scene where all the ordinary features of na- 
ture were raised and exalted. 

jg» ^fr .at, " jt» -Jt» 4fr 

"7v* Tv* W *7T 'Ts' 7r 

was under the burning influence of revenge that the 
wife of MacGregor commanded that the hostage, exchanged 
for her husbancTs safety, should be brought into her presence. 
[ believe her sons had kept this unfortunate wretch out of 
her sight, for fear of the consequences ; but if it was so, 
their humane precaution only postponed his fate. They 
dragged forward, at her summons, a wretch, already half 
dead with terrour, in whose agonized features, I recognised, 
to my horrour and astonishment, my old acquaintance Morris. 
He fell prostrate before the female chief with an effort 
to clasp her knees, from which she drew back, as if his 
touch had been pollution, so that all he could do in token 
of the extremity of his humiliation, was to kiss the hem of 
her plaid. I never heard entreaties for life poured forth 
with such agony of spirit. The ecstasy of fear was such, 
that, instead of paralyzing his tongue, as on ordinary occa- 
sions, it even rendered him eloquent, and, with cheeks as 
pale as ashes, hands compressed in agony, eyes that seemed 
to be taking their last look of all mortal objects, he pro- 
tested, with the deepest oaths, his total ignorance of any 
design on the life of Rob Roy, whom he swore he loved 
and honoured as his own soul. — In the inconsistency of his 
terrour, he said, he was but the agent of others, and he 



120 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 47. 

muttered the name of Rashleigh. — He prayed but for life 
— for life ^'- would give all he had in the world ; — it 
was but uie he asked — life, if it were to be prolonged 
under tortures and privations ; — he asked only breath, 
though it should be drawn in the damps of the lowest cav 
erns of their hills. 

It is impossible to describe the scorn, the loathing, and 
contempt, with which the wife of MacGregor regarded this 
wretched petitioner for the poor boon of existence. 

" I could have bid you live," she said, " had life been to 
you the same weary and wasting burden that it is to me— 
that it is to every noble and generous mind. — But you — 
wretch ! you could creep through the world unaffected by 
its various disgraces, its ineffable miseries, its constantly ac- 
cumulating masses of crime and sorrow, — you could live 
and enjoy yourself, while the noble-minded are betrayed, — 
while nameless and birthless villains tread on the neck of 
the brave and long-descended, — you could enjoy yourself, 
like a butcher's dog in the shambles, battening on garbage, 
wliile the slaughter of the brave went on around you ! 
This enjoyment you shall not live to partake of; you 
shall die, base dog, and that before yon cloud has passed 
over the sun." 

- 

She gave a brief command, in Gaelick, to ^r attendants, 
two of whom seized upon the prostrate suppliant, and hur- 
ried him to the brink of a cliff which overhung: the flood. 
He set up the most piercing and dreadful cries that fear 
ever uttered — I may well term them dreadful, for they 
haunted my sleep for years afterwards. As the murderers, 
or executioners, call them as you will, dragged him along, 
he recognised me even in that moment of horrour, and ex- 
claimed, in the last articulate words I ever heard him utter, 
" O, Mr. Osbaldistone, save me ! — save me !" 

I was so much moved by this horrid spectacle, that, al- 
though in momentary expectation of sharing his fate, I did 
attempt to speak in his behalf, but, as might have been ex- 
pected, my interference was sternly disregarded. The vic- 
tim was held fast by some, while others, binding a large 
heavy stone in a plaid, tied it round his neck, and others 
again eagerly stripped him of some part of his dress. Half 
naked, and thus manacled, they hurried him into the lake, 
there about twelve feet deep, drowning his last death-shriek 
with a loud halloo of vindictive triumph, over which, bow- 
ever, the yell of mortal agony was distinctly heard. The 



Lesson 48.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. in 

heavy burden splashed in the dark-biue waters of the lake, 
and the Highlanders, with their pole-axes, and swords, 
watched an instant, to guard, lest, extricating himself from 
the ioad to which he was attached, he might have struggled 
to regain the shore. But the knoi*had been securely bound ; 
the victim sunk without effort ; the waters, which his fall 
had disturbed, settled calmly over him, and the unit of that 
life for which he had pleaded so strongly, was for ever 
withdrawn from the sum of human existence. 



LESSON XL VIII. 

April Day. — Anonymous,* 

All day the low-hung clouds have dropt 

Their garnered fulness down ; 
All day that soft, gray mist hath wrapt 

Hill, valley, grove, and town. 
There has not been a sound to-day 

To break the calm of nature ; 
Nor motion, I might almost say, 

Of life, or living creature ; — 
Of waving bough, or warbling bird, 

Or cattle faintly lowing 1 : — 
I could have half believed I heard 

The leaves and blossoms growing. 
I stood to hear — I love it well — - 

The rain's continuous sound ; 
bmall drops, but thick and fast they fell, 

Down straight into the ground. 
}: or leafy thickness is not yet 

Earth's naked breast to screen, 
Though every dripping branch is set 

With shoots of tender green, 
bure, since I looked at early morn, 

Those honey-suckle ouds 
Have swelled to double growth : that thorn. 

Hath put forth larger studs. 

* Extracted from the Review of " The "Widow's Tale, anji other 
poems, by the author of Ellen FitzarthuT, ,, in Black wood's Edinburgh 
IVIagazin_, 1822. 

11 



122 THE AMERICAN [Lcsso?i ¥J. 

Tlift* Lunch's cleaving cones Iiave burst, 

'i' *e milk-white flowers revealing; 
Even &30W, upon my senses first 

Metiunks their sweets are stealing. 
The very earth, tke steamy air, 

Js all with fragrance rife ! 
And grace and beauty every where 

Are flifshing into life. 
Down, down they come — those fruitful stores ! 

Those earth-rejoicing drops ! , 
A momentary deluge pours, 

Then thins, decreases, stops* 
And ere the dimples on the stream 

Have circled out of sight, 
Lo ! from the west, a parting gleam 

Breaks forth of amber light. 



LESSON XLIX. 

The dead Lamb. — Anonymous.* 

The shepherd saunters last : — but why 

Comes with him, pace for pace, 
That ewe 7 and why, so piteously, 

Looks up the creature's face 7 — 
Swung in his careless hand, she sees 

(Poor ewe !) a dead, cold weight, 
The little one her soft, warm fleece 

So fondlv cherished late. 
But yesterday, no happier dam 

Ranged o'er those pastures wide 
Than she, fond creature ! when the lamb 

Was sporting by her side. 
It was a new-born thing: — the rain 

Pour'd clown all night — its bed 
Was drenched and cold. Morn came again, 

But the young lamb was dead. 
Yet the poor mother's fond distress 

Its every art had tried, 

* Author of " The Widow's Tale and other poems." ft 



Lesson 50.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 123 

To shield, with sleepless tenderness, 

The weak one at her side. 
Round it, all night, she gathered warm 

Her woolly limbs — her head 
Close curved across its feeble form ; 

Day dawned, and it was dead. 
She saw it d^ad :— she felt, she knew 

It had i.v> strength, no breath — 
Yet, how could she conceive, poor ewe ! 

The mystery of death ? 
It lay before her stiff and cold — 

Yet fondly she essayed 
To cherish it in love's warm fold : 

Then restless trial made, 
Moving, with still reverted face, 

And low, complaining bleat, 
To entice from their damp resting place 

Those little stiffening feet. 
AH would not do, when all was tried : 

Love's last fond lure was vain: 
So, quietly by its dead side, 

She laid her down again. 



LESSON L. 
T7ie White Bear. — Pehcival. 

The white bear of Greenland and Spitzbergen is consid- 
erably larger than the brown bear of Europe or the black 
bear of North America. This animal lives upon fish and 
seals, and is seen not only upon land in the countries bor- 
dering on the North Pole, but often upon floats of ice 
several leagues at sea. The following relation is extracted 
from the " Journal of a Voyage for making' discoveries 
towards the North Pole." 

Early in the morning, the man at the mast-head gave 
notice that three bears were making their wav very fast 
over the ice, and that they were directing their course 
towards the ship. They had, without question, been in 
vfted by the scent of the blubber of a sea-horse, killed 
a few days before, which the men had set on fire, and which 
was burning on the ice at the time of their approach. 



124 THE AMERICAN [Lessen 51 

They proved to be a she-bear ancl her two cubs ; but the 
cubs were nearly as large as the dam. They ran eagerly to 
the fire, and drew out from the flames part of the flesh of 
the sea-horse that remained unconsumed, and ate it vora- 
ciously. The crew from the ship threw great lumps of the 
flesh of the sea-horse, which they had still left, upon the 
ice. These the old bear carried away singly ; laid c\ery 
lump before her cubs as she brought it, and dividing it, gave 
each a share, reserving but a small portion to herself. As 
she was taking away the last piece, they levelled their 
muskets at the cubs, and shot them both dead ; and in her 
retreat, they wounded the dam, but not mortally. 

It would have drawn tears of pity from any but unfeeling 
minds to mark the affectionate concern expressed by this 
poor beast, in the last moments of her expiring young. 
Though she was sorely wounded, and could but just crawl 
to the place where they lay, she carried the lump of flesh 
which she had fetched away, and placed it before them. 
Seeing that they refused to eat, she laid her paws first 
upon one and then upon the other, and endeavoured to 
raise them up. It was pitiful to hear her moan. When she 
found she could not stir them, she went off ; and, stopping 
when she had gotten to some distance, she looked back and 
moaned. Y/hen she found that she could not entice them 
away, she returned, and smelling around them, began to lick 
their wounds. She went off a second time as before : and 
having crawled a few paces, looked again behind her, and 
for some time stood moaning. But still her cubs not rising 
to follow her, she returned to them again, and, with sio-ns of 
inexpressible fondness, went round one and round the oth- 
er, pawing them and moaning. Finding at last that they 
were cold and lifeless, she raised her head towards the ship 
and growled at the murderers, who then shot her with a vol- 
ley of musket balls. She fell between her cubs and died 
licking their wounds. 



LESSON LI. 

The 31iseries of War. — Robert Hall. 

Though the whole race of man is doomed to dissolution* 
and we arc all hastening to our long home ; yet at each sue- 



Ltsson 5L] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 125 

eessive moment, life and death seem to divide between them 
the dominion of mankind, and life to have the larger idiare. 
It is otherwise in war : death reigns there without a rival, 
and without control. War is the work, the element, or 
lather the sport and triumph of Death, who glories not 
only in tlie extent of his conquest, but in the richness of his 
spoil. In the other methods of attack, in the other forms 
which death assumes, the feeble and the aged, who at the 
best can live but a short time, are usually the victims ; here 
they are the vigorous and the strong. 

[t is remarked by the most ancient of poets, that in peace 
children bury their parents, in war parents bury their chil- 
dren : nor is the difference small. Children lament their 
parents, sincerely, indeed, but with that moderate and tran- 
quil sorrow, which it is natural for those to feel who are 
conscious of retaining many tender ties, many animating 
prospects. Parents mourn lor their children with the bk 

4. J. 

terness of despair ; the aged parent, the widowed mother, 
loses, when she is deprived of her children, every thing but 
the capacity of suffering ; her heart, withered and desolate, 
admits no other object, cherishes no other hope. It is Ra- 
chel, weeping for her children, and refusing to be comfort- 
ed, because they are not. 

But, to confine our attention to the number of the slain 
would give us a very inadequate idea of the ravages of the 
sword. The lot of those who perish instantaneously may 
be considered, apart from religious prospects, as compar- 
atively happy, since they are exempt from those lingering 
diseases and slow torments to which others are liable. We 
cannot see an individual expire, though a stranger, or an 
enemy, without being sensibly moved, and prompted by 
compassion to lend him every assistance in our power. 
Every trace of resentment vanishes in a moment : every 
other emotion gives wav to pity and terrour. 

In these last extremities we remember nothing but the re- 
spect and tenderness due to our common nature. What a 
scene then must a field of battle present, where thousands 
are left without assistance, and without pity, with their wounds 
exposed to the piercing air, while the blood, freezing as it 
flows, binds them to the earth, amidst the trampling of 
horses, and the insults of an enraged foe ! If they are 
spared by the humanity of the enemy, and carried from the 
field, it is but a prolongation of torment. Conveyed in un- 
easy vehicles, often to a remote distance, through roads 

U * 



126 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 51. 

almost impassable, they are lodged in ill-prepared recepta- 
cles for the wounded and the sick, where the variety of dis- 
tress baffles all the efforts of humanity and skill, and renders 
it impossible to give to each the attention he demands. Far 
from their native home, no tender assiduities of friendship, 
no well-known voice, no wife, or mother, or sister, is near 
to sooth their sorrows, relieve their thirst, or close their 
eyes in death ! Unhappy man ! and must you be swept into 
the grave unnoticed and unnumbered, and no friendly tear 
be shed for your sufferings, or mingled with your dust ? 

We must remember, however, that as a very small pro- 
portion of a military life is spent in actual combat, so it is a 
very small r>art of its miseries which must be ascribed to 
this source. More are consumed by the rust of inactivity 
than by the edge of the sword : confined to a scanty or un- 
wholesome diet, exposed in sickly climates, harassed with 
tiresome marches and perpetual alarms ; their life is a con- 
tinual scene of hardships and dangers. They grow familiar 
with hunger, cold, and watchfulness. Crowdedjnto hospi- 
tals and prisons, contagion spreads amongst their ranks, 
till the ravages of disease exceed those of the enemy. 

We have hitherto onlv adverted to the sufferings of those 
who are engaged in the profession of arms, without taking 
into our account the situation of the countries which are 
the scene of hostilities. How dreadful to hold every thin^ 
at the mercy of an enemy, and to receive life itself as a 
boon dependent on the sword ! How boundless the fears 
which such a situation must inspire, where the issues of life 
and death are determined by no known laws, principles, or 
customs, and no conjecture can be formed of our destiny, 
except as far as it is dimly deciphered in characters of 
blood, in the dictates of revenge, and the caprices of power ! 

Conceive but for a moment the consternation which the 
approach of an invading army would impress on the peaceful 
villages in our own neighbourhood. When you have placed 
yourselves for an instant in that situation, you will learn 
to sympathize with those unhappy countries which have sus- 
tained the ravages of arms. But how is it possible to gty 
von an idea of these horrours ? Here vou behold rich bar- 

V ml 

vests, the bounty of Heaven, and the reward of industry, 
consumed in a moment, or trampled under foot, while famine 
and pestilence follow the steps of desolation. There the 
cottages of peasants given up to the flames, mothers expir- 
ing tf&ough fear, not for themselves but their infants ; the 



Lesson 52.1 FIRST CLASS BOOK. 12? 

inhabitants flying with their helpless babes in all directions, 
miserable fugitives on their native soil ! In another part 
you witness opulent cities taken bv storm ; the streets, where 
/io sounds were heard but those of peaceful industry, filed 
on a sudden with slaughter and blood, resounding with the 
cries of the pursuing and the pursued : the palaces of nobles 
demolished, the houses of the rich pillaged, and every age, 
sex, and rank, mingled in promiscuous massacre and ruin ! 



LESSON LII. 

Nature and Poetry favourable to virtue. — Humility recommend- 
ed in judging of the ways of Providence. — Beattie. 

O Nature, how in every charm supreme ! 

Whose votaries feast on raptures ever new ! 
O for the voice and fire of seraphim, 

To sing thy glories with devotion due ! 

Blest be the day I 'scaped the wrangling crew, 
From Pvrrho's maze, and Epicurus' sty; 

And held his:h converse with the godlike few, 
Who, to th 3 enraptured heart, and ear, and eye, 
Teach beauty, virtue^ truth, and love, and melody. 

Then hail, ve mighty masters of the lay, 

Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth ! 
Whose song, sublimely sweet, serenely gay, 

Amused my childhood, and informed my youth. 

O let your spirit still my bosom sooth, 
Inspire my dreams, and my wild wanderings guide : 

Your voice each rugged .path of life can smooth, 
For well I know wherever ye reside, 
There harmony, and peace, and innocence abide. 

Ah me ! neglected on the lonesome plain, 

As. yet poor Edwin never knew your lore, 
Save when, against the winter's drenching rain, 

And driving snow, the cottage shut the door. 

Then, as instructed bv tradition hoar 
Her legend when the beldam 'gan impart, 

Or chant the old heroick dittv o'er, 
Wonder and iov ran thrilling to his heart : 
Much he the tale admired, but more the tuneful art 



I2S THE AMERICAN [Lesson 52. 

Various and strange was the Ions-winded tale : 

And halls, and knights and feats of arms displayed ; 
Or merry swains who quaff the nut-brown ale, 

And sing, enamoured of the nut-brown maid ; 

The moonlight revel of the fairy glade ; 
Or hags that suckle an infernal brood, 

And ply in caves th' unutterable trade,* 
'Midst fiends and spectres, quench the moon in blood, 
Yell in the midnight storm, or ride th' infuriate flood. 

But when to horrour his amazement rose, 

A gentler strain the beldam would rehearse, 
A tale of rural life, a tale of woes, 

The orphan-babes, and guardian uncle fierce. 

O cruel ! will no pang of pity pierce 
That heart, by lust of lucre seared to stone 1 

For sure, if aught of virtue last, or verse, 
To latest times shall tender souls bemoan 
Those hopeless orphan-babes, by thy fell arts undone. 

Behold, with berries smeared, with brambles torn,f 

The babes now famished, lav them down to die : 
Amidst the howl of darksome woods forlorn, 

Folded in one another's arms they lie ; 

Nor friend, nor stranger, hears their dying cry : 
" For from the town the man returns no more.' : 

But thou, who Heaven's just vengeance dar'st defy, 
This deed, with fruitless tears, shalt soon deplore, 
When Death lays waste thy house, and flames consume thy 
store. 

A stifled smile of stern, vindictive joy 

Brightened one moment Edwin's starting tear : 

" But why should gold man's feeble mind decoy, 
And innocence thus die by doom severe T' — 
O Edwin ! while thy heart is yet sincere, 

The assaults of discontent and doubt repel : 
Dark, even at noontide, is our mortal sphere ; 

But, let us hope ; — to doubt is to rebel ; 
Let us exult in hope, that all shall yet be well. 

* Allusion to Shakspeare. 

Macbeth.- — How now, ye secret, black, and midnight hag?, 

What is't ye do ? 
Witches* — A deed without a name. 

Macbeth. — [Act IV. Scent I. 
f See the fine old ballad, called The Children in the Wood. 






Lesson 53.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. -»2D 

Nor be thy generous indignation checked, 

Nor checked the tender tear to Misery given ; 
From Guilt's contagious power shall that protect, 

This soften and refine the soul for heaven. 

But dreadful is their doom whom doubt has driven 
To censure Fate, and pious Hope forego : 

Like yonder blasted boughs bv lightning riven, 
Perfection, beauty, life, they never know, 
But frown on all that pass, a monument of wo. 

Shall he, whose birth, maturity, and age, 

Scarce fill the circle of one summer's dar, 
Shall the poor gnat, with discontent and rage, 

Exclaim that Nature hastens to decay, 

If but a cloud obscure the solar ray, 
If but a momentary shower descend ! 

Or shall frail man heaven's high decree gainsay, 
Which bade* the series of events extend 
Wide through unnumbered worlds and acres without end I 

One part, one little part, we dimly scan, 

Through the dark medium of life's feverish dream ; 
Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan, 

If but that little part incongruous seem. 

Nor is that part, perhaps, what mortals deem % 
Oft from apparent ill our blessings rise. 

O then renounce that impious self-esteem, . 
That aims to trace the secrets of the skies : 
For thou art but of dust ; be humble, and be wise. 



LESSON LIII. 

Consideration of the excuses that are offered to palliate a neg- 
lect of religion. — Buckminster. 

First, it is often said, that time is wanted for th Q duties 
of religion. The calls of business, the press of occupation, 
the cares of life, will not suffer me, says one, to give that 
time to the duties of piety, which otherwise I would gladly 
bestow. Sav vou this without a blush 1 You have no time, 
then, for the especial service of that great Being, whose 
goodness alone has drawn out to its present length your 
cobweb thread of life ; whose care alone has continued you 

* Pronounced bad. 



130 THE AMfcttlCjJ* [Lesion 55. 

in possession of that unseen property, which you call your 
time. You have no time, then, to devote to that great 
Being, on whose existence the existence of the universe 
depends ; a Being so great, that if his attention could for 
an instant be diverted, vou fall never aarain to rise : if his 
promise should fail, your hopes, your expectations vanish 
into air,; if his power should be weakened, man, angel, 
nature perishes. 

But, let me ask, by what rioiit do vou involve yourself 
in this multiplicity of cares ? Why do you weave around 
you this web of occupation, and then complain, that you 
cannot break it 1 Will you say, that your time is your own, 
and that you have a right to employ it in the manner 
you please ? Believe me, it is not your own. It belongs to 
God, to religion, to mankind. You possess not an hour, to 
which one of these puts not in a preferable claim ; and are 
such claimants to be dismissed without allotting to them a 
moment ? 

But for what else can you find no leisure 1 Do you find 
none for amusement 1 Or is amusement itself your occu- 
pation ? Perhaps pleasure is the pressing business of your 
life ; perhaps pleasure stands wuiting to catch your pre- 
cious moments as they pass. Do you find none for the pur 
suit of curious and secular knowledge 1 If vou find none, 
then, for religion, it is perhaps because you wish to find' 
none ; it would be, you think, a tasteless occupation, an in- 
sipid entertainment. 

But this excuse is founded on a most erroneous concep- 
tion of the nature of religion. It is supposed to be some-' 
thing, which interrupts business, which wastes time, and in- 
terferes with all the pleasant and profitable pursuits of life. 
It is supposed to be something which must be practised 
apart from every thing else? a distinct profession, a peculiar 
occupation. The means of religion, meditation, read- 
ing, and prayer, w r ili, and ought, indeed, to occupy distinct 
portions of our time. But religion itself demands not dis- 
tinct hours. Religion will attend vou not as a troublesome, 
but as a pleasant and useful companion in every proper 
place, and every temperate occupation of life. It will 
follow you to the warehouse or to the office ; it will 
retreat with you to the country, it will dwell with vou in 
town ; it will cross the seas, or travel over mountains, or 
remain with you at home. Without your consent, it will 
not desert you in prosperity, or forget you in adversity. It 



JLesson 54.] FIRST CLASS BOOK, m 

will grow up with you in youth, and grow old with you 
in age ; it will attend you with peculiar pleasure to the 
Jfcovels of the poor, or the chamber of the sick ; it will 
retire with you to your closet, and watch by your bed, or 
walk with you in gladsome union to the house of God ; it 
will follow you beyond the confines of the world, and dwell 
with you in heaven for ever, as Ls native residence. 

A^ain, it is said, am I not as good as others ? Why is 
an attention to religion, an unpopular piety, a rigid virtue 
required of me, which cannot be found in the circle of my 
acquaintance, or in the wwld at large 1 Why am I urged to 
set up as a reformer, or expose myself to the scorn of man- 
kind I But the majority of men are poor ; does this how- 
ever check the ardour of your pursuit of wealth; or do you 
avoid a new acquisition, because you fear it will expose 
you to the envy of your inferiours 1 The majority of man- 
kind are ignorant ; but is ignorance therefore honourable, 
or is learning contemptible or invidious ? 

We have now supposed, that piety and unsullied virtue 
would sometimes be attended with scorn. But even this 
is an unwarranted supposition. Piety is venerated by the 
impious. Unyielding virtue is admired by the corrupt : 
disinterested goodness by the selfish ; temperance, chastity, 
humanity, by the intemperate, unchaste, and ambitious. 
Consider, too, to what extravagances tins excuse would lead. 
It places you loosely floating on the inconstant tide of pop- 
ular manners. If this rises, you indeed are raised; if it 
falls, you descend, however imperceptibly, on its surface. It 
is an excuse, which might be offered with equal propriety by 
the corrupt inhabitant of Sodom, as by yeu, 



LESSON LIV. 

Subject Continued. 

It is said, religion is dull, unsocial, uncharitable, enthusi- 
astick, a damper of human joy, a morose intruder upon 
human pleasure. If this were true, nothing could be more 
incongruous than the parable, which represents it as an 
entertainment. But if this be the character of religion, it 
is surely the very reverse of what we should suppose it to 
be, and the reverse indeed of what it ought to be. Per- 
haps, in your distorted vision, you have mistaken sobrietv 



132 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 54. 

fc2 cliilness, equanimity for moroseness, disinclination to 
bad company for aversion to society, abhorrence of vice 
for uncharitableness, and piety for enthusiasm. 

No doubt, at the table of boisterous intemperance, reli- 
gion, if she were admitted as a guest, would wear a very 
dull countenance. In a revel of debauchery, and amidst the 
brisk interchange of profanity and folly, religion might ap- 
pear indeed a dumb, unsocial intruder, ignorant of the 
rhetorick of oaths and the ornaments of obscenity. These 
are scenes, it must be acknowledged, of what is falsely 
called pleasure, in which religion, if embodied and intro- 
duced, would be as unwelcome a guest, as the embiematick 
coffin, which the Egyptians, used to introduce in the midst of 
their entertainments. From such instances, however, to ac- 
cuse religion of being unfriendly to the enjoyment of life, is 
as absurd as to interpret unfavourably the silence of a for- 
eigner, who understands not a word of our language. 

But as long as intemperance is not pleasure, as long a« 
profaneness, impurity, or scandal is not wit, as long as ex- 
cess is not the perfection of mirth, as long as selfishness is 
nt't the surest enjoyment, and as long as gratitude, love, rev- 
erence, and resignation are not superstitious affections, so 
long religion lavs not an icv hand on the true iovs of life. 
Without her all other pleasures become tasteless, and at last, 
painful. To explain to you. indeed, how much she exalts, 
purifies and prolongs the pleasures of sense and imagina- 
tion, and what peculiar sources of consolation, cheerfulness, 
and contentment site opens to herself, would lead us at pres- 
ent into too wide a range. 

Excuses for irreligion are drawn from the failings and 
imperfections of christians. There, says the profligate, are 
vour boasted saints. They have their faults, as well as 
those who make not so great pretensions to piety. Thus 
it happens, that some remains of imperfection, some consti- 
tutional infirmity, some unaraiable weakness of good men, 
is brought forward and exhibited in all the triumph of iilib- 
erality to the gaze of a censorious world. The character 
of the mind is drawn from a single trait, from some casual 
wrinkle, some unlucky deformity. The point, in which a 
good man is as frail as others, is selected and contemplated 
with renewed pleasure, while those points, in which he is 
superiour to other men, are unobserved or unacknowledged. 
This is partial, unjust, uncharitable, iniquitous. 

But the excuse closes not here. Of what religion has 



Lesson 54.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 133 

failed to remove it is most absurdly called the cause. If 
apparently devout and pious habits are ever found associat- 
' ed with a temper, which is not open as day to melting 
charitv, it is religion which hardens the heart, it is religion 
which locks the coffers. Whatever passion it has failed to 
subdue, or whatever fault it has been unable to prevent, i 
is impiously said to encourage. Equally absurd would it 
be, to attribute the weariness of a broken bone to the kind 
attentions of the surgeon, the pain of a wound to the balmy 
band which would assuage it. 

But of all the faults of christians, from which excuses 
for irrelisaon are drawn, the occasional extravagances into 
which pious men have fallen afford the most plausible 
apologies. The history of religion is ransacked for in- 
stances of persecution, of austerities, and enthusiastick ir- 
regularities, and when they are all collected, the eeld-heart- 
ed, thoughtless irreliofionist exclaims, these are the fruits of 
piety ! 

Bat why is it never considered, that the same ardent 
temperament, the same energy of passions, if they had 
been united with any other subject, would have rushed into 
similar extremes 1 In a mind of such a mould, religion, as 
is often said, is the occasion only, not the cause of extrava- 
gance. When enthusiasm, however, is the result of mere 
ignorance, as it most commonly is, the excuse entireiv faih. 
Ignorance is not devotion, nor the mother of devotion ; 
zeal is not religion, enthusiasm is not piety, solitude is not 
purity, spiritual pride is not conscious innocence., and the 
preternatural heat of the passions is not the warmth of love 
to God or man. 

You would not judge of the usual moisture of any region 
from the occasional inundation of its rivers. The influence 
of true religion is mild, and soft, and noiseless, and constant 
as the descent of the evening clew on the tender herbage, 
nourishing and refreshing all the amiable and social virtues ; 
but enthusiasm is violent, sudden, rattling as a summer 
shower, rooting up the fairest flowers, and washing away 
the richest mould in the pleasant garden of society. 

Excuses for a neglect of religion are suggested by differ- 
ent seasons of life. Youth, in the fulness of its spirits, 
defers it to the sobriety of manhood ; manhood, encumbered 
with cares, defers it to the leisure of old age : old age, 
weak and hesitating, is unable to enter on an untried mode 
of life. The excuses of youth are those which are most 

12 



134 THE AMERICAN [Lissmob 

frequently offered, and most easily admitted. The restric- 
tions of religion, though proper enough for moHirer age 
are too severe, it is said, for this froiicksome and gladsome 
period. Its consolations, too, they do not want. Leave 
them to prop the feeble limbs of old age, or to cheer the 
sinking spirits of adversity. False and pernicious maxim ! 
As if, at the end of a stated number of years, a man could 
become religious in a moment ! As if the husbandman, a\ 
the end of summer, could call up a harvest from the soi. 
which he had never tilled ! As if manhood, too, would have 
no excuses ! And what are they ? That lie has grown too 
old to amend. That his parents took no pains with his 
religious education, and therefore his ignorance is not his 
own fault. That he must be making provision for old age ; 
and the pressure of cares will allow him no time to attend 
to the evidences, or learn the rules of religion. Thus life 
is spent in framing apologies, in making and breaking reso- 
lutions, and protracting amendment, till death places his 
cold hand on the mouth open to make its last excuse, and 
one more is added to the crowded congregation of the dead 



-- D — ~ — u* 



LESSON LV. 
Subject Concluded. 



O 



Tks excuses, which we have already considered, are 
trifling, however, compared with the following. 

It is said, " it is by no means certain, that there is a 
future state of retribution beyond the limits of the world. 
Who has ever seen it ? It is not certain, that the religion, 
vrnich von ur«e us to embrace, comes from God. Many 
objections may be made to its evidences. 51 Most of the 
irreligioii, winch prevails among the more informed classes 
©f society, results from a lurking skepticism, which infests 
their thoughts, and, in relation to religion* leads them to 
act in direct opposition to all the maxims, which usually 
govern the conduct of men. 

It is indeed true, that the existence of a future world is 
not to us as certain as the existence of the present; neither 
can we ever have that intuitive assurance of the being of a 
God, that we necessarily possess of our own existence; 
neither can the facts of the gospel history, which happened 



Lesson 55. j FIRST CLASS BOOK. 13o 

iwo thousand years ago, be impressed on our belief with 
that imdonbti ng conviction, which we have of the reality of 

ones, which are passing immediately before our eyes. 

But the question is not, whether the gospel history can 
he demonstrated. Few subjects which occupy human con- 
templation admit strict and mathematical proof. The 
whole life of man is but a perpetual comparison of evi- 
dence, and balancing of probabilities. And upon the sup- 
position that religious truths are only probable, the excuse 
we have mentioned will not relieve irreligion from the 
charge of presumptuous and consummate folly. 

But it is said, many objections have been made to the 
evidences of revelation : and many of its difficulties remain 
vet unexplained. It is true, that objections have been often 
made and often answered, and not only answered, but 
refuted. But some difnculties, it is said, yet remain. It is 
true, thev do remain : and the excuse shall be admitted, 
when any other subject of equal importance shall be 
produced, in which d Acuities do not remain. The most 
plausible objections, \ aich have been made to any truth 
within the circle of Lam an knowledge, are those which 
have been offered against the existence of a material world ; 
but did this ever check an operation in mechanicks, or 
excuse "from his daily task a single labourer ! 

A man of ingenuity might offer a thousand objections 
against the probability of your living till the morrow ;but 
would this rob you of a moment's rest, or frustiae a single 
plan, which you had meditated for the approacl ing day 1 
If we subtract from the difficulties, which attend revelation, 
those which have been erected hy the injudicious zeal of 
some of its friends in attempting to prove too much, we 
shall find, that, in the vast storehouse of facts which history 
presents, for none can there be produced a greater mass of 
evidence than for the birth, the death, and resurrection of 
Jesus Christ— and upon the supposition of their truth, irre- 
ligion is^ nothing better than distraction. 

Another excuse, however, is offered, which perhaps has 
greater secret influence in quieting the conscience than any 
other. We are desired to look at the list of great names, 
who have been adversaries of Christianity. Can that evi- 
dence, it is asked, be satisfactory, which failed, to convince 
such minds as these ? — If the probable truth of revelation is 
to be ascertained in this manner, the dispute will soon ba 
at an end : for it would be no difficult task to produce, from 



136 THE AMERICAN .[Lesson 55. 

among the friends of revelation, a areater number of greater 
names within the last hundred years, than all the hosts of 
infidelity can furnish in eighteen centuries since the birth of 
Christ. 

But I believe these instances are not alleged to disprove 
the truth, but only to weaken the importance of Christianity. 
They are alleged only to excuse an inattention to religion, 
nnd show that it is not very dangerous to err with such great 
names on our side. Truths, it is said, which such understand- 
ings disbelieved, surely cannot be of infinite importance. 
Nothing would tend more to remove such apologies, than a 
fair, impartial, and full account of the education, the char- 
acters, the intellectual processes, and the dying moments of 
such men. Then it would be seen, that their virtues were 
the result of the very principles they had assailed, but from 
whose influence they were unable wholly to escape. Then 
it would be seen, that they had gained by their skepticism 
no new pleasures, no tranquillity of mind, no peace of con- 
science during life, and no t onsolation in the hour of death. 

Such are the excuses whi h irreligion offers. Could you 
have believed, that they w?re so empty, so unworthy, so 
hollow, so absurd 1 And shall such excuses be offered to 
the God of heaven and earth ? By such apologies shall 
man insult his Creator ? Shall he hope to flatter the ear of 
Omnipotence, and beguile the observation of an omniscient 
spirit ? Think you, that such excuses will gain new impor- 
ance in their ascent to the throne of the Majesty on high 1 
Will you trust the interests of eternity in the hands of these 
superficial advocates ? 

You have pleaded your incessant occupation. Exhibit 
then the result of your employment. Have you nothing to 
produce but these bags of gold, these palaces, and farms, 
these bundles of cares, and heaps of vexations ? Is the eye 
of Heaven to be dazzled by an exhibition of property, an 
ostentatious show of treasures ? You surely produce not 
all these wasted hours, to prove that you have had no time 
for religion. It is an insult to the Majesty of Heaven. 
Again, you have pleaded your youth, and you have pleaded 
your age. Which of these do you choose to maintain at 
the bar of Heaven ? Such trifling would not be admitted in 
the intercourse of men, and do you think it will avail more 
with Almighty God ? 

It must however be acknowledged, that the case of the 
irreligious is not desperate, while excuses are thought proper 



Lesson 56.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 137 

Jand necessary. There is some glimmering of hope, that the 
man who apologizes is willing to amend. God preserve us 
from that obduracy of wickedness, which disdains to palliate 
a crime ; from that hardihood of unbelief, which will not 
give even a weak reason, and which derides the offer of 
an excuse. But the season of apologies is passing away. 
Ail our eloquent defences of ourselves must soon cease. 
Death stiffens the smooth tongue of flattery, and blots out, 
with one stroke, all the ingenious excuses, which we have 
spent our lives in framing. 

At the marriage-supper, the places of those who refused 
to H>me, were soon filled by a multitude of delighted guests. 
The God of Heaven needs not our presence to adorn his 
table, for whether we accept, or whether we reject his gra- 
cious invitation, whether those who were bidden taste 01 
not of his supper, his house shall be filled. Though many 
are called and few chosen, yetXmrist has not died in vain, 
religion is not without its witnesses, or heaven without its 
inhabitants. Xet us then remember, that one thing is need- 
ful, and that there is a better part than all the pleasures and 
selfish pursuits of this world, a part which we are encour 
aged to secure, and which can never be taken away 



LESSON LVL 
Apostrophe to Monrt Parnassus.* — Byron. 

O thou Parnassus ! whom I now survev, 
Not in the phrensy of a dreamer's eye, 

Not in the fabled landscape of a lay, 

But soaring, snow-clad, through thy native sky, 
In the wild pomp of mountain majesty ! 

What marvel that I thus essay to sing ? 
The humblest of thy pilgrims, passing by, 

Would gladly woo thine Echoes with his string, 
Though from thy heights no more one Muse shall wave her 
wins:. 

Oft have I dreamed of thee ! whose glorious name 
Who knows not, knows not man's divines t lore ; 

* Written in CastH^ the ancient Delphi ; at the foot of Parnassus 
* now called Liakara. 



138 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 57 

And now I view thee, 'tis, alas ! with shame 
That I, in feeblest accents, must adore. 
When I recount thy worshippers of yore, 

I tremble, and can only bend the knee ; 

Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar, 

But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy 
In silent joy to think at last I look on thee ! 

Happier in this than mightiest bards have been, 
Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot, 

Shall I, unmoved, behold the hallowed scene 

Which others rave of, though they know it not \ r 
Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot, 

And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave, 
Some gentle spirit still pervades the spot, 

Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave, 
Or glides, with glassy foot, o'er yon melodious wave. 



LESSON LVIL 

Mount ChamGuny : — The Iwur before Sunrise. — Coleridge. 

Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star 
In his steep course ? so long he seems to pause 
On thy bald awful head, Oh Chamouny ! 
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base 
R ave ceaselessly, while thou, dread mountain form, 
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines 
How silentiv ! Around thee and above 
Deep is the sky and black : transpicuous deep 
An eb'on mass ! me thinks thou piercest it 
As with a wedge ! But when I look again 
It seems thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine, 
Thy habitation from eternity. 
Oh dread and silent form ! I srazed on thee 
Till thou, stili present to my bedily eye, 
Didst vanish from my thought. — Entranced in prayer, 
I worshipped the Invisible alone, 
Yet thou, methinks, wast working on my soul 
E'en like some deep enchanting melody, 
So sweet we know not we are listening to it. 
But I awake, and with a busier mind 
And active will, self-conscious, ;>i?er now,. 






Lesson 57.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 131) 

Not as before, involuntary prayer 
And passive adoration. 

Hand and voice 
Awake, awake ! and thou, my heart, awake ! 
Green fields, and icy cliffs ! all join my hymn I 
And thou, O silent mountain, sole and bare, 
O ! blacker than the darkness, all the night, 
And visited all night by troops of stars, 
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink, 
Companion of the morning star at dawn, 
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn 
Co-herald ! wake, oh wake, and utter praise ! 

Who sank thy sunless pillars in the earth 1 
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light'? 
"Who made thee father of perpetual streams ? 
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad, 
Who called you forth from night and utter death 1 
From darkness let you loose, and icy dens, 
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks 
For ever shattered, and the same for ever ? 
Who gave you your invulnerable life, 
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy, 
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ? — 

And who commanded and the silence came, 
" Here shall the billows stiffen and have rest" 1 
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from von dizzv heights 
Adown enormous ravines steeply slope, — 
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty noise. 
And stopped at once amidst their maddest plunge, 
Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts ! 
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven 
Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the Sun 
Clothe you with rainbows ? Who with lovely flowers 
Of living blue spread garlands at your feet 1 
God ! God ! the torrents like a shout of nations 
Utter ; the ice-plaiii bursts, and answers, God ! — 
God ! sing the meadow streams with gladsome voice, 
And pine groves with their soft and soul-like sound. 

The silent snow-mass, loosening, thunders, God ! 
Ye dreadless flowers, that fringe the eternal frost ! 
Ye wild goats, bounding by the eagle's nest ! 
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain blast! 
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds, 
Ye signs and wonders of the elements, 



1 10 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 5S 

Utter forth God ! and fill the hills with praise ! 

And thou, oh silent form, alone and bare, 

Whom as I lift again my head, bowed low 

In silent adoration, I again behold, 

And to thy summit upward from thy ba^e 

Sweep slowly, with dim eyes suffused with tears,—* 

Awake thou mountain form ! Rise like a cloud, 

Rise, like a cloud of incense, from the earth ! 

Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills, 

Thou dread Ambassador from earth to heaven, 

Great Hierarch, tell thou the silent sky, 

And tell the stars, and tell the rising sun, 

Earth with her thousand voices calls -on God. 



LESSON LVIII. 

Maternal affection. — Scrap Book. 

Woman's charms are certainly many and powerful. The 
expanding rose just bursting into beauty has an irresistible 
bewitchingness ; — the blooming bride led triumphantly to 
the hymeneal altar awakens admiration and interest, and 
the blush of her cheek fills with delight ; — but the charm of 
maternity is more sublime than all these. Heaven has im- 
printed in the mother's face something beyond this world, 
something which claims kindred with the skies, — the an- 
gelick smile, the tender look, the waking, watchful eye, 
which keeps its fond vi<ril over her slumbering babe. 

These are objects which neither the pencil nor the chisel 
can touch, which poetry fails to exalt, which the most elo- 
quent tongue in vain would eulogize, and on which all de- 
scription becomes ineffective. In the heart of man lies this 
lovely picture ; it lives in Ins sympathies ; it reigns in his 
affections ; his eye looks round in vain for such another ob- 
iect on eartL. 

Maternity, extatick sound ! so twined round our hearts, 
that they must cease to throb ere we forget it ! 'tis our first 
love ; 'tis part of our religion. Nature has set the mother 
upon such a pinnacle, that our infant eyes and arms are, 
first, uplifted to it ; we cling to it in manhood; we almost 
worship it in old age. He who can enter an apartment, and 
behold the tender babe feeding on its mother's beauty — 
nourished by the tide of life which flows through her gene- 
rous veins, without a panting bosom and a grateful eye, is 



lesson 59.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 141 

no man, but a monster. — He who can approach the cradle 
of sleeping innocence without thinking that " Of such is the 
kingdom of heaven!" or see the fond parent hang over its 
beauties, and half retain her breath lest she should break its 
slumbers, without a veneration bevond all common feeAno- 
is to be avoided in every intercourse of life, and is nt only 
for the shadow of darkness and the solitude of the desert. 



LESSON LIX. 

The last days of Itercula?ieum.—&CRA? Book. 

A great city — situated amidst all that nature could create 
of beauty and of profusion, or art collect of science and 
magnificence — the growth of many a^es — the residence of 
enlightened multitudes — the scene of splendour, and festiv- 
ity, and happiness — in one moment withered as by a spell 
— its palaces, its streets, its temples, its gardens, ; glowing 
with eternal spring,' and its inhabitants ir the full enjoyment 
of all life's blessings, obliterated from their very place in 
creation, not by war, or famine, or disease, or any of the 
natural causes of destruction to which earth had been ac- 
customed — but in a single ni<rht, as if by magick, and amid 
the conflagration, as it were, of nature itself, presented a 
subject on which the wildest imagination might grow weary 
without even equalling the grand and terrible reality. The 
eruption of Vesuvius, by winch Herculaneum and Pompeii 
were overwhelmed, has been chiefly described to us in the 
letters of Pliny the younger to Tacitus, giving an accouut 
of his uncle's fate, and the situation of the writer and his 
mother. The elder Pliny had just returned from the bath, 
and was retired to his study, when a small speck or cloud, 
which seemed to ascend from Mount Vesuvius, attracted his 
attention. This cloud gradually increased, and at length 
assumed the shape of a pine tree, the trunk of earth and 
vapour, and the leaves, " red cinders." Pliny ordered his 
galley, and, urged by his philosophick spirit, went forward 
to inspect the phenomenon. In a short time, however, phi- 
losophy gave way to humanity, ana he zealously and adven- 
turously employed his galley in saving the inhabitants of 
the various beautiful villas which studded that enchanting 
coast. Amongst others he went to the assistance of hl« 
friend Pomponianus, who was then at Stabise. The storm 
of fi^e, and the tempest of the earth, increased ; and the 



142 THE AMERICAN [Lesson CO 

wretched inhabitants were obliged, by the continual rocking 
of their houses, to rush out into the fields with pillows tied 
down by napkins upon their heads, as their sole defence 
against the shower of stones which fell on them. This, in 
the course of nature, was in the middle of the day ; but a 
deeper darkness than that of a winter night had closed 
around the ill-fated inmates of Herculaneum. This artifi- 
cial darkness continued for three days and nights, and when, 
at length, the sun again appeared over the spot where Iler- 
culaneum stood, his rays fell upon an ocean of lava ! There 
was neither tree, nor shrub, nor field, nor house, nor living 
creature ; nor visible remnant of what human hands had 
reared — there was nothing to be seen but one black extend- 
ed surface still streaming with mephitick vapour, and heav- 
ed into calcined waves by the operation of fire and the un- 
dulations of the earthquake ! Pliny was found dead upon 
the seashore, stretched upon a cloth which had been spread 
for him, where H was conjectured he had perished early, 
his corpulent ai.d apoplectick habit rendering him an easy 
prey to the suffocating atmosphere. 



LESSON LX. 

New mode of Fishing, — Scrap Book. 

Several years ago, a farmer, who resided in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire, kept a gander, 
who had not only a great trick of wandering himself, but 
also delighted in piloting forth his cackling harem, to weary 
themselves in circumnavigating their native lake, or in 

CD CD ' 

straying amidst forbidden fields on the opposite shore. Wish 
ing to check this vagrant habit, he one day seized the gan 
der just as he was about to spring into his favourite element, 
and tying a large fish-hook to his leg, to which was attach- 

J CD O O ' 

ed part of a dead frog, he suffered him to proceed upon his 
voyage of discovery. As had been anticipated, this bait 
soon caught the eye of a greedy pike, which swallowing 
the deadly hook, not oniv arrested the progress of the aston- 
ished gander, but forced him to perform half a dozen somer- 
sets on the surface of the water ! For some time the struggle 
was most amusing — the fish pulling, and the bird screaming 
with all its might— the one attempting to fly, and the other 
to swim, from the invisible enemy — the gander the one mo 



ucn 61 FIRST CLASS BOOK. 143 



v , 



•rent losing and the next regaining his centre of gravity 
and casting between wViiles many a rueful look at his snow- 
white fleet of geese and goslings, who cackled forth their 
sympathy for their afflicted commodore. At length victory 
declared in favour of the feathered angler, who, bearing away 
for the nearest shore, landed on the smooth green grass one 
n the finest pikes ever -caught in the Castle-loch. This 
idventnre is said to have cured the gander of his propensity 
*\)V wandering ; but on this point we are inclined to be a 
little skeptical — particularly as we lately heard, that, at the 
Reservoir near Glasgow, the country people are in the 
habit of employing ducks in this novel mode of fishing. We 
cannot, to be sure, vouch for this last fact ; but, in the days 
of yore, hawks were taught to bring 1 down woodcocks and 
muirfowl, and why might not a similar course of training 
enable ducks to bring up pikes and perches ? 



LESSON LXL 

A Whiter Scene* — Bryant. 

But Winter has vet brighter scenes ; — he boasts 
Splendours beyond what gorgeous Summer knows, 
Or Autumn, with his many fruits and woods 
All flushed with many hues. Come, when the rains 
Have glazed the snow and clothed the trees with ice, 
When the slant sun of February pours 
Into the bowers a flood. of light. Approach ! 
The incrusted surface* shall upbear thy steps, 
And the broad, arching portals of the grove 
Welcome thy entering. Look, the massy trunks 
Are cased in the pure crystal ; branch and twig 
Shine in the lucid covering : each light rod, 
Poinding and twinkling in the stirring breeze, 
Is studded with its trembling water-drops, 
$$\i\ streaming, as they move, with coloured light* 
But round the parent stem the long, low boughs 
Bend in a glittering ring, and arbours hide 
The glassy floor. O ! vou might deem the spot 



The spacious cavern of some virgin mine, 
Dt-ep in the womb of Earth, where the gems grow, 
And diamonds put forth radiant rods, and bud 
With amethyst and topaz, and the place 
'Lit i5|5, most rorally. with the mire beam 



144 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 62. 

That dwells in them. Or, haply, the vast hall 
Of fairy palace, that out-lasts the night, 
And fades not in the glory of the sun ; 
"W here crystal columns send forth slender shafts 
And crossing arches, and fantastick aisles 
Wind from the sight in brightness, and are lost 
Among the crowded pillars. Raise thine eye : — 
Thou seest no cavern roof, no palace vault ; 
There the blue sky, and the white drifting cloud 
Look in. Again the-wildered fancy dreams 
Of sporting fountains, frozen as they rose, 
And fixed, with all their branching jets, in air, 
And all their sluices sealed; All, all is light, 
Light without shade. But all shall pass away 
With the next sun. From numberless vast trunks, 
Loosened, the crashing ice shall make a sound 
Like the far roar of rivers ; and the eve 
Shall close o'er the brown woods as it was wont. 



LESSON LXIL 
The Seasons. — Monthly Anthology. 

I solitary court 



The inspiring; breeze, and meditate upon the book 

Of nature, ever open ; aiming* thence 

Warm from the heart to learn the moral song*. — 

Persons of reflection and sensibility contemplate with in- 
terest the scenes of nature. The changes of the year impart 
a colour and character to their thoughts and feelings. When 
the seasons walk their round, when the earth buds, the corn 
ripens, and the leaf falls, not only are the senses impressed, 
but the mind is instructed ; the heart is touched with senti- 
ment, the fancy amused with visions. To a lover or nature 
and of wisdom, the vicissitude of seasons conveys a proof 
and exhibition of the wise and benevolent contrivance of 
the Author of all things. 

When suffering the inconveniences of the ruder parts of 
the year, we may be tempted to wonder why this rotation 
is necessary : — whv we could not be constantly gratified 
with vernal bloom and fragrance, or summer beauty and 
profusion. We imagine that, in a world of our creation, 
there would alwavs be a blessing in the air, and flowers 
and fruits on the earth. The chilling blast and driving 



4 Lesson 62.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 145 

snow, the desolated field, withered foliage, and naked tree, 
should make no part of the scenery which we would pro- 
duce. A little thought, however, is sufficient to show the 
folly, if not impiety of such distrust in the appointments of 
the great Creator. 

The succession and contrast of the seasons give scope to 
that care and foresight, diligence and industry, which are 
essential to the dignity and enjoyment of human beings, 
whose happiness is connected with the exertion of their 
faculties. With our present constitution and state, in which 
impressions on the senses enter so much into our pleasures 
and pains, and the vivacity of our sensations is affected by 
comparison, the uniformity and continuance of a perpetual 
spring would greatly impair its pleasing effect upon our 
feelings. 

The present distribution of the several parts of the year, 
is evidently connected with the welfare of the whole, and 
the production of the greatest sum of being and enjoyment. 
That motion in the earth, and change of place in the sun. 
which cause one region of the globe to be consigned to cold, 
decay, and barrenness, impart to another heat and life, fer- 
tility and beauty. Whilst in our climate the earth is bound 
with frost, and the 4 chilly smothering snows' are falling, the 
Inhabitants of another behold the earth, first planted with 
vegetation and apparelled in verdure, and those of a third 
are rejoicing in the appointed weeks of harvest. 

Each season conies, attended with its benefits, and beau- 
ties," and pleasures. All are sensible of the charms of 
spring. Then the senses are delighted with the feast, that 
is furnished on every field, and on every hill. The eye is 
sweetly delayed on every object to which it turns. It is 
grateful to perceive how widely, yet chastely, nature hath 
mixed her colours and painted her robe ; how bountifully 
she hath scattered her blossoms and Hung her odours. We 
listen with joy to the melody she hath awakened in the 
groves, and catch health from the pure and tepid gales that 
blow from the mountains. 

When the summer exhibits the whole force of active na- 
ture, and shines in full beauty and splendour ; when the 
succeeding season offers its fi purple stores and golden grain. 5 
or displays its blended and softened tints ; when the winter 
puts on its sullen aspect, and brings stillness and repose, 
affording a respite from the labours which have occupied 
the preceding months, inyiting us to reflection, and comoea- 

13 



146 THE AMERICAN [Lesson Gil 

silting for the want of attractions abroad by fireside delights 
and home-felt joys ; in all tins interchange and variety we 
find reason to acknowledge the wise and benevolent care of 
the God of seasons. 

We are passing from the finer to the ruder portions of 
the year. The sun emits a fainter beam, and the sky is 
frequently overcast. The gardens and fields have become 
a waste, and the forests have shed their verdant honours. 
The hills are no more enlivened with the bleating of flocks, 
and the woodland no longer resounds with the song of bird,-. 
In these changes we see evidences of our instability, and 



images of our transitory state. 



; So nourishes and fades majestick man.'— 

Our life is compared to a falling leaf. When we are dis- 
posed to count on protracted years, to defer any serious 

oughts of futurity, and to extend our ulans through a ion.'? 
succession of seasons ; the spectacle of the ; fading, many- 
coloured woods,' and the naked trees, affords a salutary ad- 
monition of our frailty. It should teach us to fill the short 
year of life, or that portion of it which may be allotted to 
us, with useful employments and harmless pleasures ; to 
practise that industry, activity, and order, which the course 
of the natural world is constantly preaching. 

Let not the passions blight the intellect in the spring of 
its advancement ; nor indolence nor vice canker the promise 
of the heart in the blossom. Then shall the summer of 
life be adorned with moral beauty ; the autumn yield a 
harvest of wisdom and virtue : and the winter of ao*e be 
cheered with pleasing reflections on the past, and bright 
Lopes of the future. 



«o- 



LESSON LXIII. 

[In the Zooiiomla of Dr. Darwin, among* various instances recorded 
by that philosophical physician of what he calls maniacal hallucina- 
tion, or Diental delusion, is the case of a young- farmer of Warwickshire, 
whose story was well authenticated in the publick papers of the time. 
A poor elderly woman in his neighbourhood was in the habit, urged 
by the pinching necessities of an inclement winter, of taking a few 
sticks from his grounds and his hedge, to preserve the fading fire in her 
forlorn cottage. Suspecting the delinquent, the hardhearted hind 
watched and detected her. After wrenching from her the scanty fag- 



Lesson 63.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 147 

o-ot, blows and reproaches succeeded. Struck with the misery of her 
situation, and the cruelty of her oppressor, she kneeled, and, rearing 
her withered hands to the cold moon, prayed that u he might never 
3°-ain know the blessing of warmth.'" The consciousness of wrong, 
the solemnity of the hour, thepathetick tone, u sharp misery," and im- 
passioned gesture of the miserable matron, at once extinguished the 
dim reason of the rustick. He immediately complained of a preter- 
natural chilness, was continually calling for more fire and clothes, 
and conceived himself to be in a freezing -state, till the time of his 
death, which happened shortly after. On this singular story is founded 
the following ballad, which is in the genuine spirit of ancient English 
song, and shows, by proof irrefragable, that simplicity, and the lan- 
guage of ordinary life, may be connected with the most exquisite 
poetry. Farmer'' s Museum."] 

Goody Blake and Harry Gill. — Wordsworth. 

Oh ! what's the matter ? what's the matter 1 
What is't that ails young Harry Gill ? 
That evermore his teeth they chatter, 
Chatter, chatter, chatter still. 
Of waistcoats Harry has no lack, 
Good duffle gray, and flannel fine ; 
He has a blanket on his back, 
And coats enough to smother nine. 

In March, December, and in July, 
'Tis all the same with Harry Gill ; 
The neighbours tell, and tell you truly, 
His teeth they chatter, chatter still. 
At night, at morning, and at noon, 
'Tis all the same with Harry Gill ; 
Beneath the sun, beneath the moon, 
His teeth they chatter, chatter still. 

Young Harry was a lusty drover, 
And who so stout of limb as he ? 
His cheeks were red as ruddy clover, 
His voice was like the voice of three. 
Auld Goody Blake was old and poor, 
III fed she was, and thinlv clad : 
And any man who passed her door, 
Might see how poor a hut she had. 

All day she spun in her poor dwelling, 
And then her three hoars' work at night! 
Alas ! 'twas hardly worth the telling, 
It would not pay for candle-light. 



148 THE AMERICAN [Lesm (J3, 

—This woman dwelt in Dorsetshire, 
Her hut was on a cold hill side, 
And in that country coals are dear, 
For they come far by wind and tide* 

By the same fire to boil their pottage, 
Two poor old dames, as I have known, 
Will often live in one small cottage, 
But she, poor woman, dv/elt alone. 
'Twas well enough when summer came, 
The long, warm, lightsome summer day, 
Then at her door the canty dame 
Would sit, as any linnet gay. 

But when the ice our streams did fetter, 
Oh ! then how her old bones would shake 
You would have said if you had met her 
'Twas a hard time for Goody Blake, 
Her evenings then were dull and dread ; 
Sad case it was, as you may think, 
For very cold to go to bed, 
And then for cold not sleep a wink. 

O joy for her ! whene'er in winter, 
The winds at night had made a rout, 
And scattered many a lusty splinter, 
And many a rotten bough about. 
Yet never had she, well or sick, 
As every man who knew her says, 
A pile before-hand, wood or stick, 
Enough to warm her for three days. 

Now when the frost was past enduring, 
And made her poor old bones to ache, 
Could any thing be more alluring, 
Than an old hedge to Goody Blake 1 
And now and then it must be said, 
When her old bones were cold and chill, 
She left her fire, or left her bed, 
To seek the hedge of Harry Gill. 

Now Harry he had long suspected 
This trespass of old Goody Bjake, 
And vow'd that she should be detected, 
And he on her would vengeance take. 






Lesson G3.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 1 19 

And oft from his warm fire he'd go, 
And to the fields his road would take, 
And there, at night, in frost and snow, 
He watch'd to seize old Goody Blake. 

And once behind a rick of barley, 
Thus looking out did Harry stand : 
The moon was full and shining clearly, 
And crisp with frost the stubble land. 
— He hears a noise — he's all awake — 
Again ! — on tiptoe down the hill 
He softly creeps — 'Tis Goody Blake ! 
She's at the hedge of Harrv Gill. 

Right glad was he when he beheld her : 
Stick after stick did Goody pull, 
He stood behind a bush of elder, 
Till she had fill'd her apron full. 
When with her load she turn'd about, 
Xhe by-road back again to take, 
He started forward with a shout, 
And sprang upon poor Goody Blake. 

And fiercely by the arm he took her, 
And by the arm he held her fast, 
And fiercely by the arm he shook her, 
And cried, " I've caught you then at last !" 
Then Goody, who had nothing said, 
Her bundle from her lap let fall ; 
-And kneeling on the sticks, she pray'd, 
To God that is the judge of all. * 

She pray'd, her wither'd hand uprearing, 
While Harry held her by the arm — 
" God ! who art never out of hearing, 
O may he never more be warm !" 
The cold, cold moon above her head, 
Thus on her knees did Goody pray, 
Young Harrv heard what she had said, 
And icy cold he turn'd away. 

He went complaining all the morrow 
That he was cold and very chill : 
His face was gloom, his heart was sorrow* 
Alas that dav for Harry Gill ! 
13 * 



150 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 61. 

That day he wore a riding coat, 
But not a whit the warmer he : 
Another was on Thursday brought, 
And ere the Sabbath he had three. 

'Twas all in vain, a useless matter, 
And blankets were about him pinn'd : 
Yet still his jaws and teeth they clatter, 
Like a loose casement in the wind. 
And Harry's flesh it fell away ; 
And all who see him say 'tis plain, 
That live as long as live he may, 
He never will be warm again. 

No word to any man he utters, 
Abed or up, to young or old ; 
But ever to himself he mutters, 
" Poor Harry Jill is very cold." 
Abed or up, by night or day ; 
His teeth they chatter, chatter still : 
Now think, ye farmers all, I pray, 
Of Goody Blake and Harry Gill. 



LESSON LXIV. 

Supposed feelings of Adam on being called into existence* — 

Buffon. 

I remember the moment when my existence commenced : 
it was a moment replete with joy, amazement, and anxiety. 
I neither knew what I was, where I was, nor from whence 
I came. I opened my eyes ; what an increase of sens-ation ! 
The light, the celestial vault, the verdure of the earth, the 
transparency of the waters, gave animation to my spirits, 
and conveyed pleasures which exceed the powers of ex- 
pression. 

* The above extract is taken from Buffon's Natural History, and 
contains a very vivid description of the slow and painful process by 
which human beings acquire what may be called the use and knowl- 
edge of their senses. The idea, that Adam had to undergo nearly 
the same discipline as a little child, before he acquired a knowledge- 
of himself and of that sublime creation of which he was then the lole 
heir, is, of course, altogether imaginary, and merely assumed for the 
purpose of illustration. 



Lesson 64.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 151 

I at first believed that all these objects existed within me, 
and formed a part of myself. When totally absorbed in this 
idea, I turned my eyes to the sun : his splendour overpow- 
ered me. I voluntarily shut out the light, and felt a slight 
degree of pain. During this moment of darkness, I imagined 
that I had lost the greatest part of my being. 

When reflecting, with grief and astonishment, upon this 
great change, I was roused with a variety of sounds. The 
singing of birds, and the murmuring of the breezes, formed 
a concert, which excited the most sweet and enchanting 
emotions. I listened Ions', and was convinced that these 
harmonious sounds existed within me. 

Totally occupied with this new species of existence, I had 
already forgot the light, though the first part of my being 
that I had recognised. 1 again, by accident, opened my 
eyes, and was delighted to find myself recover the posses- 
sion of so many brilliant objects. This pleasure surpassed 
every former sensation, and suspended, for a time, the 
charming melody of sound. 

I fixed my eyes on a thousand objects ; I soon perceived 
that I had the power of losing and of recovering them, and 
that I could, at pleasure, destroy and renew this beautiful 
part of my existence. 

I could now see without astonishment, and hear without 
anxiety, when a gentle breeze wafted perfumes to my nos- 
trils. This new and delightful sensation agitated my frame, 
and gave a fresh addition to my self-love. 

Totally occupied by all these sensations, and loaded with 
pleasures so delicate and so extensive,! suddenly arose, and 
was transported by the perception of an unknown power. 

I had made but a single step, when the novelty of my sit- 
uation rendered me immoveable. My surprise was extreme. 
I thought my being fled from me : the movement I had 
made confounded the objects of vision; and the whole crea- 
tion seemed to be disordered. 

I raised my hand to my head ; 1 touched my forehead 
and my eyes ; and I felt every part of my body. The hand 
now appeared to be the principal organ of mv existence. 
The perceptions afforded by this instrument were so dis- 
tinct and so perfect ; the pleasures conveyed by it were so 
superiour to those of light and sound, that, for some time. I 
attached myself entirely to this substantial part of my being, 
and I perceived that my ideas began to assume a consistence 
and reality which I had never before experienced. Every 



152 THE AMERICAN [Lesson G4. 

part of my body, which I touched with my hand, reflected 
the sensation, and produced in my mind a double idea. 

By this exercise I soon learned, that the faculty of feeling 
was expanded over every part of my frame ; and I began to 
recognise the limits of my existence, which till now seemed 
to be of an immense extent. 

I surveyed my body, and I judged it to be of a size so 
immense, that all other objects, in comparison, seemed to be 
only luminous points. I followed my hand with my eyes, 
and observed all its motions. Of all these objects my ideas 
were confused and fallacious. I imagined that the motion 
of my hand was a kind of fugitive existence, a mere succes- 
sion of similar causes ; I brought my hand near my eye ; it 
then seemed to be larger than my whole body ; for it con- 
cealed from my view almost every other object. 

I began to suspect that there was some illusion in the 
sensation conveyed by the eyes. I distinctly perceived that 
my hand was only a small part of my body ; but I was un- 
able to comprehend how it should appear so enormously 
large. I therefore resolved to depend for information upon 
the sense of feeling alone, which had never deceived me 
and to be on my guard against all the other modes of sensa- 
tion. 

This precaution was extremely useful to me. I renewed 
my motions, and walked with my face turned toward the 
heavens. I struck against a palm tree, and felt a slight 
degree of pain. Seized with terrour, I ventured to lay my 
hand upon the object, and discovered it to be a being dis- 
tinct from myself, because it gave me not, like touching my 
own body, a double sensation : I turned from it with hor- 
rour, and perceived, for the first time, that there was some- 
thing external, something which did not constitute a part of 
my own existence. 

It was with difficulty that I could reconcile myself to this 
discovery; but, after reflecting on the event which had hap- 
pened, I concluded that I ought to judge concerning exter- 
nal objects in the same manner as I had judged concerning 
the parts of my body ; and the sense of feeling alone could 
ascertain their existence. I resolved, therefore, to feel 
every object that I saw. I had a desire of touching the 
sun ; I accordingly stretched forth my hands to embrace the 
heavens ; but they met, without feeling any intermediate 
object. 

Every experiment I made served oniy to increase my a*- 



Lesson 64.] " FIRST CLASS BOOK. 153 

tonishment ; for all objects appeared to be equally near ; 
and it was not till after an infinite number of trials, that I 
learned to use my eye as a guide to my hand. As the hand 
gave me ideas totally different from the impressions I re- 
ceived by the eye, my sensations were contradictory ; the 
judgements I formed were imperfect ; and my whole exist- 
ence was disorder and confusion. 

Reflecting deeply on the nature of my being, the contra- 
dictions I had experienced .filled me with humility: the 
more I meditated, my doubts and difficulties increased. 
Fatigued with so many uncertainties, and with anxious emo- 
tions which successively arose in my mind, my knees bended, 
and I soon found myself in a situation of repose. This state 
of tranquillity added fresh force to my senses. I was seat- 
ed under the shade of a beautiful tree. Fruit of a vermil- 
ion hue hung down, in the form of grapes, within reach of 
my hand. These fruits I gently touched, and they instantly 
separated from the branch. In laying hold of one of them, 
I imagined I had made a great conquest ; and I rejoiced in 
the faculty of containing in my hand an entire being which 
made no part of myself. Its weight, though trifling, seemed 
to be an animated resistance, which I had a pleasure in be- 
ing able to conquer. 

I held the fruit near my eyes : I examined its form and 
its colours. A delicious odour allured me to bring it near 
my lips, and I inhaled long draughts of its perfumes. When 
entirely occupied with the sweetness of its fragrance, my 
mouth opened, and I discovered that I had an internal sense 
of smelling, which was more delicate and refined than that 
conveyed by the nostrils. In fine, I tasted the fruit. The 
novelty of the sensation, and the exquisiteness of the savour, 
filled me with astonishment and transport. Till now I had 
only enjoyed pleasures; but taste gave me an idea of vohi]>- 
tuousness. The enjoyment was so congenial and intimate, 
that it conveyed to me the notion of possession or property. 
I thought that the substance of the fruit had become part of 
my own, and that I was endowed with the power of trans- 
forming bodies. 

Charmed with this idea of power, and with the pleasures 
I felt. I continued to pull and to eat. But an agreeable 
languor gradually impaired my senses ; my limbs grew 
heavy ; and my mind seemed to lose its natural activity. I 
perceived this inaction by the feebleness of my thoughts : 
the dulness of my sensations rounded all external objects, 



154 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 65 

and conveyed only weak and ill-defined ideas. At this in- 
stant my eyes shut, and my head reclined upon the grass. 

Every thing now disappeared : darkness and confusion 
reigned. The train of my ideas was interrupted ; and I 
lost the consciousness of my existence. My sleep was pro- 
found ; but, having no mode of measuring time, I knew 
nothing of its duration. My awakening appeared to he a 
second birth : for I only perceived that I had ceased to exist. 
This temporary annihilation gave me the idea of fear, and 
made me conclude that my existence was not permanent. 

Another perplexity arose : I suspected that sleep had 
robbed me of some part of my powers : I tried my different 
senses, and endeavoured to recognise all my former facul- 
ties. When surveying my body, in order to ascertain its 
identity, I was astonished to find at my side another form 
perfectly similar to my own ! I conceived it to be another 
self; and, instead of losing by sleep, I imagined myself to 
be doubled. 

I ventured to lay my hand upon this new being : with rap- 
ture and astonishment I perceived that it was not myself, 
but something much more glorious and desirable ; and I 
imagined that my existence was about to dissolve, and to bo 
wholly transfused into this second part of my being. 

I perceived her to be animated by the touch of my hand : 
I saw her catch the expression in my eyes ; and the lustre 
and vivacity of her own made a new source of life thrill in 
my veins. 

At this instant the sun had finished his course ; I perceiv- 
ed, with pain, that I lost the sense of seeing ; and the pres- 
ent obscurity recalled in vain the idea of my former sleep. 



LESSON LXV. 

Scottish Musick ; — its 'peculiarity accounted for, — Beattie. 

The Highlands of Scotland are a picturesque, but in gene- 
ral a melancholy country. Long tracts of mountainous des- 
ert covered with dark heath, and often obscured by misty 
weather ; narrow valleys, thinly inhabited, and bounded by 
precipices resounding with the fall of torrents ; a soil so 
rugged and a clime so dreary, as in many parts to admit 
neither the amusements of pasturage, nor the labours of 



Lesson 65.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. loo 

agriculture ; the mournful dashing of waves along the friths 
and lakes that intersect the country ; the portentous noises 
which every change of the wind, and every increase and 
diminution of the waters are apt to raise in a lonely region, 
fill! of echoes, and rocks, and caverns ; the grotesque and 
ghastly appearance of such a landscape by the light of the 
moon ; objects like these diffuse a gloom over the fancy, 
which may be compatible enough with occasional and social 
merriment, but cannot fail to tincture the thoughts even of 
an ordinary native in. the hour of silence and solitude. 

What then would it be reasonable to expect from the 
fanciful tribe, from the musicians and poets, of such a re- 
gion 1 Strains, expressive of joy, tranquillity, or the softer 
passions ? No ; their style must have been better suited to 
their circumstances. And so we find, in fact, that their 
musick is. The wildest irregularity appears in its composi- 
tion : the expression is warlike and melancholy, and ap- 
proaches even to the terrible. — And that their poetry is 
almost uniformly mournful, and their views of nature dark 
and dreary, will be allowed by all who admit the authenti- 
city of Ossian ; and not doubted by any who believe those 
fragments of Highland poetry to be genuine, which many 
old people, now alive, of that country, remember to have 
heard in their youth, and were then taught to refer to a 
pretty high antiquity. 

Some of the southern provinces of Scotland present a 
very different nrospect. Smooth and lofty hills covered 
with verdure : clear streams winding through long and 
uitiful valleys ; trees produced without culture, here 
straggling or single, and there crowding into little groves 
and bowers ; with other circumstances peculiar to the dis- 
tricts alluded to, render them fit for pasturage, and favour- 
able to romantick leisure and tender passion. 

Several of the old Scotch songs take their names from the 
rivulets, villages, and hills adjoining to the Tweed near Mel- 
rose ; a region distinguished by many charming varieties of 
rural scenery, and which, whether we consider the face of 
the country or the genius of the people, may properly enough 
be termed the Arcadia of Scotland. And all their songs 
are sweetly and powerfully expressive of love and tender- 
ness, and c ther emotions suited to the tranquillity of pasto- 
ral life. 



150 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 66. 

LESSON LXVI. 
Fortitude of the Indian Character, — Adair's Travels. 

A party of the Seneca Indians came to war against the 
Katawbas, bitter enemies to each other. In the woods the 
former discovered a sprightly warriour belonging to the lat- 
ter, hunting in their usual light dress : on his perceiving them 
he sprung off for a hollow rock four or five miles distant, as 
they intercepted him from running homeward. He was so 
extremely swift and skilful with the gun, as to kill seven 
of them in the running fight before they were able to 
surround and take him. They carried him to their country 
in sad triumph ; but though he had filled them with uncom- 
mon grief and shame for the loss of so many of their kindred 
yet the love of martial virtue induced them to treat him, 
during their long journey, with a great deal more civility 
than if he had acted the pail: of a coward. 

The women and children, when they met him at their 
several towns, beat him and whipped him in as severe a 
manner as the occasion required, according to their law of 
justice ; and at last he was formally condemned to die by 
the fiery torture. It might reasonably be imagined, that 
what he had for some time gone through, by being fed with 
a scanty hand, a tedious march, lying at night on the bare 
ground, exposed to the changes of the weather, with his 
arms and legs extended in a pair of rough stocks, and 
suffering such punishment on his entering into their hostile 
towns, as a prelude to those sharp torments to which he 
was destined, would have so impaired his health, and affect 
ed his imagination, as to have sent him to his long sleep, out 
of the way of any more sufferings. 

Probably this would have been the case with the major 
part of white people under similar circumstances ; but I never 
knew this with any of the Indians : and this cool-headed, 
brave warriour, did not deviate from their rough lessons of 
martial virtue, but acted his part so well as to surprise 
and sorely vex his numerous enemies : — for when they were 
taking him, unpinioneJ, in their wild parade, to the place 
of torture, which lay near to a river, he suddenly dashed 
down those who stood in his way, sprung off, and plunged 
into the "water, swimming underneath like an otter, only ris- 
ing to take breath, till he reached the opposite shore. 

He now ascended the steep bank, but, though he had good 
reason to be In a hurrv, as many of the enemv were in the 



Lesson 06.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 157 

water, and others running, like bloodhounds, in pursuit of 
him, and the bullets flying around him from the time he took 
to the river, yet his heart did not allow him to leave them 
abruptly. He chose to take leave in a formal manner, in 
return for the extraordinary favours they had done, and 
intended to do him. So, stopping a moment, to bid them 
defiance, in the genuine style of Indian gallantry, he put up 
the shrill war-whoop, as his last salute, till some more con- 
venient opportunity offered, and darted off in the manner of 
a beast broke loose from its torturing enemies. 

He continued his speed, so as to run by about midnight of 
the same day as far as his eager pursuers were two days in 
reaching. There he rested, till he happily discovered five 
of those Indians who had pursued him : — he lay hid a little 
way off their camp, till they were sound asleep. Every 
circumstance of his situation occurred to him, and inspired 
him with heroism. He was naked, torn, and hungry, and 
his enraged enemies were come up with him ; but there was 
now every thing to relieve his wants, and a fair opportunity 
to save his life, and get great honour and sweet revenge by 
cutting them off. — Resolution, a convenient spot, and sud- 
den surprise, would effect the main object of all his wishes and 
hopes. He accordingly crept, took one of their tomahawks, 
and killed them all on the spot — clothed himself, and took 
a choice gun, and as much ammunition and provisions as 
he could well carry in a rumiing march. He set off afresh 
with a light heart, and did not sleep for several successive 
nights, except when he reclined, as usual, a little before day, 
with his back to a tree. 

As it were by instinct, when he found he was free from 
the pursuing enemy, he made directly to the very place 
where he had been taken prisoner and doomed to the fiery 
torture, after having killed seven of his enemies. The 
bodies of these he dug up, burnt them to ashes, and went 
home in safety with singular triumph. — Other pursuing 
enemies came, on the evening of the second day, to the 
camp of their dead people, when the sight gave them a 
greater shock than they had ever known before. In their 
chilled war council they concluded, that as he had done 
such surprising things in his defence before he was capti- 
vated, and even after that, in his naked condition, he must 
surely be an enemy wizard ; and that, as he was now well 
armed, he would destroy them all should they continue the 
pursuit : — they therefore very prudently returned home, 



1*8 THE A A I Lesson G? 

LESSON LXVJI. 

The widow and Tier .so??. — Washington Irving. 

Bltrijvg my residence in the country, I used frequently 
attend at the old village church, which stood in a country 
fi with ancient families, and contained within its cold a: 
silent aisles, the congregated dust of many noble generations. 
Its shadowy aisles, its mouldering monuments, its dark oaken 
pannellingj all reverend with the gloom of departed years, 
seemed to fit it for the haunt of solemn meditation. A Sun- 
, too, in the country, is so holy in its repose ; such a 
pensive quiet reigns over the face of nature, that every 
restless passion is charmed down, and we feel all the natural 
religion of the soul gently springing up within us : 

u Sweet day, so pure, so calm, so bright, 
The. bridal of the earth and sky ! — " 

I do not pretend to be what is called a devout man ; but 
y ere are feelings that visit me in a country church, amid 
yiutiful serenity of nature, which I experience no where 
%nd if not a more religious, I think I am a better man 
Sunday, than on any other day of the s^even. 
But in tins church I felt myself continually thrown back 
e world, by the frigidity and pomp of the poor worms 
und me. The only being that seemed thoroughly to 
e humble and prostrate piety of a true Christian, w: 
a poor decrepit old woman, bending under the weight 
yei id infirmities. She bore the traces of somethi 

i ban abject poverty. The lingerings of decent pi 

visible in her appearance. Her dress, though humble 
in the extreme, was scrupulously clean. ome trivial re- 
0, had been awarded her, for she did not take her y 
y the village poor, but sat alone on the steps of th 
u\ She seemed to have survived all love, ail iriendsh 
yty ; and to have nothing left her but the hopes of 
y hen I saw her feebly rising and b: :ig her 

age m in prayer — habitually conning her prayer-boo]; 

w it her Daisied hand and faiiino; eyes would not perav 
her to read, but which she evidently knew bv heart — I fell 
persuaded that the faltering voice of that poor woman arose 
to I: en far before the responses of the clerk, the swell 

a, or the chanting of the choir. 

_ — 

1 imi' fond of loitering about country churches, and this 
) delightfully cited, that it frequently a cted me. 



Less 7.] I BOOK. 159 

I stood on a knell, round which a stream made a beautiful 
bend, and then wound its way through a long reach of soft 
meadow scenery. The church was surrounded by yew 
trees, which seemed almost coeval with itself. Its tall 
Gothick spire shot up lightly from among them, with rooks 
and crows generally wheeling about it. I was seated there 
one still, sunny morning, watching two labourers who were 
digging a grave. — They had chosen one of the most remote 
and neglected corners of the church-yard ; where, from the 
number of nameless graves around, it would appear that the 
indigent and friendless were huddled into the earth. I was 
told that the new-made grave was for the only son of a poor 



widow. 



While I was meditating on the distinctions of worldly 
rank, which extend thus down into the very dust, the toll 
of the bell announced the approach of the funeral. They 
were the ob'sequies of poverty, with which pride had noth- 
ing to do. A cofhn of the plainest materials, without pall 
or other covering, was borne by some of the villagers. Th 3 
sexton walked before with an air of cold indifference. There 
were no mock mourners in t_he trappings of affected wo ; 
but there was one real mourner who feebly tottered after the 
corpse. It was the aged mother of the deceased — the poor 
old woman whom I had seen seated on the steps of the altar. 
She was supported by an humble friend, who was endeav- 
ouring to comfort her. A few of the neighbouring poor had 
joined the train, and some children of the village were run- 
ning hand in hand, now shouting with unthinking mirth, 
and now pausing to gaze, with childish curiosity, on the 
grief of the mourner. 

As the funeral train approached the grave, the parson is- 
sued from the church porch, arrayed iii the surplice, with 
nraver-book in hand, and attended by the clerk. The ser- 
vice, however, was a mere act of charity. The deceased 
had been destitute, and the survivor was pennyiess. It was 
shuffled through, therefore, in form, but coldly and unfeel- 
ingly. The well-fed priest moved but a few steps from the 
church-door ; his voice could scarcely be heard at the 
grave ; and never did I hear the funeral service, that sublime 
and touching ceremony, turned into such a frigid mummery 
of words. 

I approached the grave. The coffin was placed on the 
ground. On it were inscribed the name and a^e of the 
deceased — i; George Burners, r.ged 26 years." The poor 



\m THE AMERICAN [Lesson (J7 

mother had been assisted to kneel down at the head of it. 
Her withered hands were clasped, as if in prayer, but J 
could perceive, by a feeble rocking of the body, and a con- 
vulsive motion of the lips, that she was gazing on the last 
relicks of her son, with the yearnings of a mother's heart. 

The service being ended, preparations were made to 
deposite the coffin in the earth. There was that bustling 
stir which breaks so harshly on the feelings of srrief and 
affection : directions given in the cold tones of business ; the 
striking of spades into sand and gravel ; which, at the grave 
of those we love, is, of all sounds, the most withering. The 
bustle around seemed to waken the mother from a wretched 
reverie. She raised her glazed eyes, and looked about with 
a faint wildness. As the men approached with cords to lower 
the coffin into the grave, she w r rung her hands and broke 
into an agony of grief. The poor woman who attended her 
took her by the arm, endeavouring to raise her from the 
earth, and to whisper something like consolation-^-" Nay, 
now— nay, now — don't take it so sorely to heart." She 
could only shake her head, and wring her hands, as one not 
to be comforted. 

As they lowered the body into the earth, the creaking of 
the cords seemed to agonize her ; but when, on some acci- 
dental obstruction, there was a justling of the coffin, all the* 
tenderness of the mother burst forth ; as if any harm could 
come to him who was far beyond the reach of worldly 
suffer in of. 

I could see no more — my heart swelled into my throat — 
my eyes rilled with tears-— I felt as if I were acting a bar- 
barous part in standing by and gazing idly on this scene of 
maternal anguish* I wandered to another part of the church- 
yard, where I remained until the funeral train had dispersed. 

When I saw the mother slowly and painfully quitting the 
irrave, leaving behind her the remains of all that was dear 
to her on earth, and returning to silence and destitution, my 
heart ached for her. What, thought I, are the distresses of 
the rich ! they have friends to sooth — -pleasures to beguile- • 
a world to divert and dissipate their griefs. What are the 
sorrows of the young ! Their growing minds soon close 
above the wound— their elastick spirits soon rise beneath 
the pressure — their green and ductile affections soon twine 
round new objects. But the sorrows of the poor, who have 
no outward appliances to sooth — the sorrows of the aged, 
with whom life at best is but a wLitry day, and who can 



L^son68.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. KM 

look for no after-growth of iov — the sorrows of a widow, 
aged, solitary, destitute, mourning over an only son, the 
last solace of her years; these are indeed sorrows which 
make us feel the im potency of consolation. 



-. ♦ . 



LESSON LXVIII. 
The same, — Concluded. 

It w r as some time before I left the church-yard. On my 
wav homeward, I met w r ith the woman who had acted as 
comforter : she was just returning from accompanying the 
mother to her lonely habitation, and I drew from her some 
p ?,rtieulars connected with the affecting scene I had witnessed, 

The parents of the deceased had resided in the village 
from childhood. They had inhabited one of the neatest 
cottages, and by various rural occupations, and the assistance 
of a small garden, had supported themselves creditably and 
comfortably, and led a happy and a blameless life. They 
had one son, who had grown up to be the staff and pride of 
their age. — " Oh, sir !" said the good woman, " he was such 
a likely lad, so sweetly tempered, so kind to every one 
round him, so dutiful to his parents ! It did one's heart good 

7 J- C2 

to see him of a Sunday, drest out in his best, so tail, so straight, 
so cheery, supporting his old mother to church- — for she was 
always fonder of leaning on George's arm, than on her 
goodman's ; and, poor soul, she might well be proud of 
him, for a finer lad there was not in the country round." 

Unfortunately, the son was tempted, during a year of 
scarcity and agricultural hardship, to enter into the service 
of one of the small craft that plied on a neighbouring river. 
He had not been long in this emplov, when he was entrap- 
ped by a press-gang and carried off to sea. His parents 
received tidings of his seizure, but bevond that thev could 
learn nothing. It was the loss of their main prop. The 
father, who was already infirm, grew heartless and melan- 
choly, and sunk into his grave. The widow, left lonely in 
her age and feebleness, could no longer support herself, 
\nd came upon the parish; Still there was a kind feeling 
toward her throughout the tillage, and a certain respect, as 
hemg one of the oldest inhabitants. As no one applied for 
-,he cottage in which she had passed so many happy fiats, 

1* * 



t 

162 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 6S 

she was permitted to remain in it, where she lived solitary 
and almost helpless. The few wants of nature were chiefly 
supplied from the scanty productions of her little gulden, 
which the neighbours would now and then cultivate for her 
It was but a few days before the time at which these cir- 
cumstances were told me, that she was gathering some vege- 
tables for her repast, when she heard the cottage-door which 
faced the garden suddenly opened. A stranger came out, 
and seemed to be looking eagerly and wildly around. He 
was dressed in seaman's clothes, was emaciated and ghastly 
pale, and bore the air of one broken by sickness and hard- 
ships. He saw her, and hastened toward her, but his steps 
were faint and faltering ; he sank on his knees before her, 
and sobbed like a child. The poor woman gazed upon him 
with a vacant and wandering eye — " Oh my dear, dear 
mother ! don't you know your son ! your poor boy George !" 
It was, indeed, the wreck of her once noble lad ; who, shat- 
tered by wounds, by sickness, and foreign imprisonment, 
had, at length, dragged his wasted limbs homeward, to re- 
pose among the scenes of his childhood. 

I will not attempt to detail the particulars of such a 
meeting, where joy and sorrow were so completely blended : 
still he was alive ! he was come home ! he might yet live 
to comfort and cherish her old age ! Nature, however, was 
exhausted in him ; and if any thing had been wanting to 
finish the work of fate, the desolation of his native cottage 
would have been sufficient. He stretched himself on the 
pallet on which his widowed mother had passed many a 
sleepless night, and he never rose from it again. 

The villagers, when they heard that George Somers had 
returned, crowded to see him, offering every comfort and 
assistance that their humble means afforded. — He was too 
weak, however, to talk — he could only look his thanks. 
His mother was his constant attendant ; and he seemed 
unwilling to be helped by any other hand. 

There is something in sickness that breaks down the 
pride of manhood ; that softens the heart, and brings it 
back to the feelings of infancy. Who that has languished, 
even in advanced life, in sickness and despondency ; who 
that has pined on a weary bed, in the neglect and loneli- 
ness of a foreign land : but has thought on the mother " that 
looked on his childhood," that smoothed his pillow, and 
administered to his helplessness 1 Oh ! there is an enduring 
tenderness in the love of a mother to a son that transcends 



Lesson 68.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 1(33 

all the other affections of the heart. It is neither to he 
chilled by selfishness, nor daunted by danger, nor weakened 
by worthlessness, nor stifled by ingratitude. She will sacri- 
fice every comfort to his convenience ; she will surrender 
every pleasure to his enjoyment ; she will glory in his fame, 
and exult in his prosperity : — and, if adversity overtake him, 
he will be the dearer to her by misfortune ; and, if disgrace 
settle upon his name, she will still love and cherish him ; 
and, if all the world beside cast him off, she will be all the 
world to him. 

Poor George Somers had known well what it was to be in 
sickness, and have none to sooth — lonely and in prison, and 
none to visit him. He could not endure his mother from 
his sight ; if she moved away, his eye would follow her. 
She would sit for hours by his bed, watching him as he 
slept. Sometimes he would start from a feverish dream, 
and look anxiously up until he saw her venerable form 
bending over him ; when he would take her hand, lay it 
on his bosom, and fall asleep with the tranquillity of a child. 
In this Way he died. 

My first impulse, on hearing this humble tale of affliction, 
was to visit the cottage of the mourner, and administer 
pecuniary assistance, and, if possible, comfort. I found, 
however, on inquiry, that the good feelings of the villagers 
had prompted them to do every thing that the case admit- 
ted ; and as the poor know best how to couple each other's 
sorrows, I did not venture to intrude. 

The next Sunday I was at the village church ; when, to 
my surprise, I saw the old woman tottering down the aisle 
to her accustomed seat on the steps of the altar. 

She had made an effort to put on something like mourn- 
ing for her son ; and nothing could be more touching than 
this struggle between pious affection and utter poverty : a 
black riband or so — a faded black handkerchief, and one 
or two more such humble attempts to express by outward 
signs that grief which passes show. When I looked round 
upon the storied monuments ; the stately hatchments ; tho 
cold marble pomp, with which grandeur mourned magnifi- 
cently over departed pride ; and turned to this poor widow 
bowed down by age and sorrow at the altar of her God, 
and offering up the prayers and praises of a pious, though 
a broken heart, I felt that this living monument of real grief 
was worth them all. 

1 related her story to some of the wealthy members of the 



164 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 09 

congregation, and they were moved by it. They exerted 
themselves to render her situation more comfortable, and to 
lighten her afflictions. It was, however, but smoothin«- a 
few steps to the grave. In the course of a Sunday or two 
after, she was missed from her usual seat at church, and 
before I left the neighbourhood, I heard, with a feeling of 
satisfaction, that she had quietly breathed her last, and 
gone to rejoin those she loved, in that world where sorrow is 
never known, and friends are never parted. 



LESSON LXIX. 

The American RepublicJc. — Byron. 

The name of Commonwealth is past and gone, 

Over three fractions of the groaning globe : — 
Venice is crushed, and Holland deigns to own 

A sceptre, and endures a purple robe : 
If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone , 
His chainless mountains, 'tis but for a time ; 
For tyranny of late has cunning grown, 
And, in its own good season, tramples down 
The sparkles of our ashes. One great clime, 
Whose vigorous offspring by dividing ocean 
Are kept apart, and nursed in the devotion 
Of Freedom, which their fathers fought for, and 
Bequeathed— a heritage of heart and hand, 
And proud distinction from each other land, 
Whose sons must bow them at a monarch's motion, 
As if his senseless sceptre were a wand 
Full of the magick of exploded science — 
Still one great clime, in full and free defiance, 
Yet rears her crest, unconquered and sublime, 
Above the far Atlantick ! She has taught 
Her Esau-brethren that the haughty flag, 
The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag, 
May strike to those whose red right hands have bought 
Rights cheaply earned with blood. Still, still, for ever 
Better, though each man's life-blood were a river, 
That it should flow, and overflow, than creep 
Through thousand lazy channels in our veins, 
Dammed, like the dull canal, with locks and chains, 



Lesson 70.] FIRST CLASS BOOK, ]<» 

And moving, as a sick man in his sleep, 
Three paces, and then faltering : — better be 
Where the extinguished Spartans still are free, 
In their proud charnel of Thermopylae, 
Than stagnate in our marsh ; — or o'er the deep 
Fly, and one current to the ocean add, 
One spirit to the souls our fathers had, 
One freeman more, America, to thee ! 



LESSON LXX. 

An Evening Sketch, — Blackwood's Magazine. 

The birds have ceased their song, 
All, save the black cap, that, amid the boughs 
Of yon tall ash tree, from his mellow throat, 
In adoration of the setting sun, 
Chants forth his evening hymn. 

'Tis twilight now ; 
The sovereign sun behind his western hills 
In glory hath declined. The mighty clouds, 
Kissed by his warm effulgence, hang around 
In all their congregated hues of pride, 
Like pillars of some tabernacle grand, 
Worthy his glowing presence ; while the sky, 
Illumined to its centre, glows intense, 
Changing its sapphire majesty to gold. 
How deep is the tranquillity ! the trees 
Are slumbering 1 through their multitude of boughs 
Even to the leaflet on the frailest twig ! 
A twilight gloom pervades the distant hills ; 
An azure softness mingling with the sky. 
The fisherman drags to the yellow shore 
His laden nets ; and, in the sheltering cove, 
Behind yon rocky point, his shallop moors, 
To tempt, again the perilous deep at dawn. 

The sea is waveless, as a lake ingulf 'd 
'Mid sheltering hills — without a ripple spreads 
Its bosom, silent, and immense — the hues 
Of flickering day have from its surface died, 
Leading it garb'd in sunless majesty. 



160 THE AM [CAN f Lesson 71 



„ s 



With bosoming branches round, yon village ban 
Its row of lofty elm trees ; silently 
Towering* in spiral wreathsVo the soft sky. 
The smoke from many a cheerful hearth ascends. 
Melting" in ether. 

As I gaze, behold 
The evening star illumines the blue south. 
Twinkling in loveliness. O ! holy star, 
Thou bright dispenser of the twilight dews, 
Thou herald of Night's glowing galaxy, 
And harbinger of social bliss ! how oft, 
Amid the twilights of departed years, 
Resting beside the river's mirror clear, 
On trunk of massy oak, with eyes upturn'd 
To thee in admiration, have I sat 
Dreaming sweet dreams till earth-born turbulence 
Was all forgot ; and thinking that in thee, 
Far from the rudeness of this jarring world, 
There might ha realms of quiet happiness ! 



LESSON LXXI. 

.4 utumn.-r^Aisis on. 

There is an " even tide" in the year, — a season, as wo 
now witness, when the sun withdraws his propitious light, — 
when the winds arise, and. the leaves fall, and nature around 
us seems to sink into decay. It is said, in general, to be the 
season of melancholy ; and if, by this word, be meant that it 
is the time of solemn and of serious thought, it is uxidoubt- 
eclly the season of melancholv ; — yet, it is a melancholy sc 
soothing, so gentle in its approach, and so prophetick in its 
influence, that they, who have known it, feel, as if instinctive- 
ly, that it is the droing of God, and that the heart of man is 
not thus finely touched, but to fine issues. 

1. It is a season, which tends to wean us from the passions 
of the world. Every passion, however base or unworthy, 
is yet eloquent. It speaks to us of present enjoyment ; — 
it tells us of what men have done, and what men may do, 
and it supports us every where by the example of many 
around us. When we o out into the fields in the even- 



Lesson 71.] FIRST CLASD BOOK. 167 

ing of the year, a different voice approaches us. We re- 
gard, even in ^ffjite of ourselves, the still but steady ad 
trances of time, 

A few davsHR, and the summer of the rear was grateful, 
and every elJMnt was filled with life, and the sun of 
Heaven seer™ Ro glory in his ascendant. He is new e li- 
fe: 1 in hiJ [Ewer ; the desert no more " blossoms like 
the rose;" ^^KOiig of joy is no more heard among the 
branches ; JB Kbe earth is strewed with that foliage which 
once bespg^^^Kanagniilcence of summer. Whatever may 
be >he~flfl pPMjQjf society has awakened, we pause 

amid tnjff^parent desolation of nature. We sit down in 
the lodge " o£fhe way-faring man in the wilderness," and 
we feel that all we witness is the emblem of our own fate. 
Sucli also, in a few years, will be our own condition. The 
lossoms of our spring, — the pride of our summer will also 
fade into decay ;- — and the pulse that now beats high with 
virtuous or with vicious desire, will gradually sink, and then 
must stop for ever. 

We rise from our meditations with hearts softened and 
ibduecl, and we return into life as into a shadowy scene, 
where we have " disquieted ourselves in vain. 9 ' Such is 
the first impression which the present scene of nature is 
fitted tq^ake upon us. It is this first impression which 
tntimfiates the thoughtless and the gay ; and, indeed, if 
there were no other reflections that followed, J/ know not 
that it would be the business of wisdom to recommend such 
teditations. It is the consequences, however, of such pre- 
vious thoughts, which are chiefly valuable ; and among these 
there are two which may well deserve our consideration. 
2. It is the peculiar character of the melancholy which 
ch seasons excite, that it is general. It is not an individ- 
remonstrance :— it is not the harsh language of human 
wisdom, which too often insults, while it instructs us. When 
winds -of autumn sigh around us, their voice speaks not 
to us only, but to our kind ; arid the lesson thev teach us is 
• that we alone decay, hut that such also is the fate of all 
the orenerations of man.— " Thev are the green leaves of the 
tree of the desert, which perish and are renewed." 

uch a sentiment there is a kind of sublimity mingled 
with its melancholy ;- — our tears fall, but thev fall not for 
ourselves ; — -and, although the train of our thoughts may 
have begun with the selfishness of our own concerns, we 
feel that, by the ministry of some m'vsteri is power, thev 

'ml v a, i ' -/ 



163 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 7! 

end in awakening our concern for every being that Jives. — 
Yet a few years, we think, and all that now bless, or all 
that now convulse humanity will also have perished, The 
mightiest pageantry of life will pass, — the loudest notes of 
triumph or of conquest will be silent in the grave ; — the 
wicked, wherever active, " will cease from troubling," and 
the weary, wherever suffering, " will be at rest." 

Under an impression so profound, we feel our own hearts 
better. The cares, the animosities, the hatreds which so- 
ciety may have engendered, sink unpereeM^l from our 
bosoms. In the general desolation of n^[ Ife^feel the 

littleness of our own passions ; — we look forward to that 
kindred evening which time must bring to all ; — we antici- 
pate the graves of those we hate, as of those we love, 
Every unkind passion falls, with the leaves that fall around 
us ; and we return slowly to our homes, and to the society 
which surrounds us, with the wish only to enlighten or to 
bless them. 

3. If there were no other effects of such appearances of 
nature upon our minds, they would still be valuable, — they 
would teach us humility, — and with it they would teach us 
charity. In the same hour in which they taught us our own 
fragility, they would teach us commiseration for the whole 
family of man. — But there is a farther sentim^t which 
such scenes inspire, more valuable than all ; and wefknow 
little the designs of Providence, when we do not yield our- 
selves in such hours to the beneficent instincts of our imagi- 
nation. 

It is the unvarying character of nature, amid all its scenes, 
to lead us at last to its Author ; and it is for this final end 
that all its varieties have such dominion upon our minds. 
We are led by the appearances of spring to see his bounty ; 
and we are led by the splendours of summer to see his great- 
ness. In the present hours, we are led to a higher sen- 
timent ; and, what is most remarkable, the very circumstan- 
ces of melancholy are these which guide us most securely to 
put our trust in him. 

We are witnessing the decay of the year ; — we go back 
in imagination, and find that such, in every generation, has 
been the fate of man; — we look forward, and w^e see that 
to such ends all must come at last ; — we lift our desponding 
eyes in search of comfort, and we see above us, One, "who 
is ever the same, and to whose years there is no end." 
Amid the vicissitudes of nature, we discover that central 



Lesson 71.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 169 

majesty " in whom there is no variableness nor shadow of 
turning." We feel that there is a God; and from the tem- 
pestuous sea of life, we hail that polar star of nature, to 
which a sacred instinct had directed our eyes, and which 
burns with undecaying ray to lighten us among all the dark- 
ness of the deep. 

From this great conviction, there is another sentiment 
which succeeds. Nature, indeed, yearly perishes ; but it is 
early renewed. Amid all its changes, the immortal spirit 
of Him that made it remains ; and the same sun which now 
marks with his receding ray the autumn of the year, will 
again arise in his brightness, and bring along with him the 
promise of the spring and all the magnificence of summer. 
Under such convictions, hope dawns upon the sadness of 
the heart. The melancholy of decay becomes the very 
herald of renewal ; — the magnificent circle of nature opens 
upon our view ; — we anticipate the analogous resurrection 
of our being ; — we see beyond the grave a greater spring, 
and we people it with those who have given joy to that 
which is passed. With such final impressions, we submit 
ourselves gladly to the destiny of our being. While the sun 
itf mortality sinks, we hail the rising of the Sun of Righteous- 
ness, and, in hours when all the honours of nature are 
perishing around us, we prostrate ourselves in deeper ado- 
ration before Him who " sitteth upon its throne." 

Let, then, the young go out, in these hours, under the 
descending sun of the year, into the fields of nature. Their 
hearts are now ardent with hope, — with the hopes of fame, 
of honour, or of happiness ; and in the long perspective 
which is before them, their imagination creates a world 
where all may be enjoyed. Let the scenes which they 
now may witness, moderate, but not extinguish their am- 
bition : — while they see the yearly desolation of nature, let 
them see it as the emblem of mortal hope ; — while they feel 
the disproportion between the powers they possess, and the 
time they are to be employed, let them carry their ambitious 
eye beyond the world ; — and while, in these sacred solitudes, 
a voice in their own bosom corresponds to the voice of 
decaying nature, let them take that high decision which 
becomes those who feel themselves the inhabitants of a 
greater world, and who look to a being incapable of decay. 

15 



170 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 72. 

LESSON LXXII. . 
Moss Side. — Wilson.* 

Gilbert Ainslie was a poor man ; and he had been a poor 
man all the days of his life, which were not few, for his thin 
hair was now waxing gray. He had been born and bred on 
the small moorland farm which he now occupied ; and he 
hoped to die there, as his father and grandfather had done 
before him, leaving a family just above the more bitter 
wants of this world. Labour, hard and unremitting, had 
been his lot in life ; but although sometimes severely tried, 
he had never repined ; and through all the mist, and gloom, 
and even the storms that had assailed him, he had lived on, 
from year to year, in that calm and resigned contentment, 
which unconsciously cheers the hearth-stone of the blame- 
less poor. 

With his own hands he had ploughed, sowed, and reaped 
his often scanty harvest, assisted, as they grew up, by three 
sons, who, even in boyhood, were happy to work along with 
their father in the fields. Out of doors or in, Gilbert Ainslie 
was never idle. The spade, the shears, the plough-shaft, 
the sickle, and the flail, all came readily to hands that 
grasped them well ; and not a morsel of food was eaten 
under his roof, or a garment worn there, that was not hon- 
estly, severely, nobly earned. Gilbert Ainslie was a slave, 
but it was for them he loved with a sober and deep affection. 
The thraldom under which he lived God had imposed, and 
it only served to give his character a shade of silent grav- 
ity, but not austere ; to make his smiles fewer, but more 
heartfelt ; to calm his soul at grace before and after meals ; 
and to kindle it in morning and evening prayer. 

There is no need to tell the character of the wife of such" 
a man. Meek and thoughtful, yet gladsome and gay withal, 
her heaven was in her house ; and her gentler and weaker 
hands helped to bar the door against want. Of ten children 
that had been born to them, they had lost three ; and as 
they had fed, clothed, and educated them respectably, so 
did they give them who died a respectable funeral. The 
living did not grudge to give up, for a while, some of their 

* The volume of beautiful and affecting tales, entitled "Lights and 
Shadows of Scottish Life" from which this piece and some others in this 
Selection are taken, is attributed to John Wilson, Esq. upon the authori- 
ty or ^'D ; irmid, Editor of The. Scrap Book. 



Lesson 72.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 171 

daily comforts, for the sake of the dead ; and bought, with 
the little sums which their industry had saved, decent mourn- 
ings, worn on Sabbath, and then carefully laid by. Of the 
seven that survived, two sons were farm-servants in the 
neighbourhood, while three daughters and two sons remain- 
ed at home, growing, or grown up, a small, happy, hard- 
working household. 

Many cottages are there in Scotland like Moss-sicle, and 
many such humble and virtuous cottagers as were now be- 
neath its roof of straw. The eye of the passing traveller 
may mark them, or mark them not, but they stand peace- 
fully in thousands over all the land ; and most beautiful do 
they make it, through all its wide valleys and narrow glens, 
— its low holms encircled by the rockv wails of some bonnv 
burn, — its green mounts elated with their little crowning 
groves of plane-trees, — its yellow cornfields, — its bare, pas- 
toral hill-sides, and all its healthy moors, on whose black 
bosom lie shining or concealed glades of excessive verdure, 
inhabited by flowers, and visited only by the far-flying bee . 

Moss-side was not beautiful to a careless or hasty eye ; 
but when looked on and sur? eyed, it seemed a pleasant 
dwelling. Its roof, overgrown with grass and moss, was 
almost as green as the ground out of which its weather- 
stained walls appeared to grow. The moss behind it was 
separated from a little garden, by a narrow slip of arable 
land, the dark colour of which showed that it had been won 
from the wild by patient industry, and by patient industry 
retained. It required a bright sunny day to make Moss-side 
fair ; but then it was fair indeed ; and when the little brown 
moorland birds were singing their short songs among the 
rushes and the heather, or a lark, perhaps lured thither by 
some green barley field for its undisturbed nest, rose ring~- 
inw all over the enlivened solitude, the little bleak farm 
smiled like the paradise of poverty, sad and affecting in its 
lone and extreme simplicity. 

The boys and girls had made some plots of flowers among 
the vegetables that the little garden supplied for their homely 
meals ; pinks and carnations, brought from walled gardens 
of rich men farther down in the cultivated strath, grew 
here with somewhat diminished lustre ; a bright show of 
tulips had a strange beauty in the midst of that moor-land ; 
and the smell of roses mixed well with that of the clover, the 
beautiful fair clover that loves the soil and the air of Scot- 
land, and gives the rich and balmy milk to the poor man's lips 



172 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 72. 

In this cottage, Gilbert's youngest child, a girl akout nine 
years of age, had been lying for a week in a fever. It was 
now Saturday evening, and the ninth day of the disease. 
Was she to live or die ? Tt seemed as if a very few hours 
were between the innocent creature and Heaven. All the 
symptoms were those of approaching death. The parents 
knew well the change that comes over the human face, 
whether it be in infancy, youth, or prime, just before the 
departure of the spirit ; and as they stood together by Mar- 
garet's bed, it seemed to them that the fatal shadow had 
fallen upon her features. 

The surgeon of the parish lived some miles distant, but 
they expected him now every moment, and many a wistful 
look was directed by tearful eyes along the moor. The 
daughter, who was out at service, came anxiously home on 
this night, the only one that could be allowed her, for the 
poor must work in their grief, and hired servants must do 
their duty to those whose bread they eat, even when nature 
is sick, — sick at heart. Another of the daughters came in 
from the potato-field beyond the brae, with what was to be 
their frugal supper. The calm, noiseless spirit of life was 
in and around the house, while death seemed dealing with 
one who, a few days ago, was like light upon the floor, and 
the sound of musick, that always, breathed up when most 
wanted ; glad and joyous in common talk, — sweet, silvery, 
and mournful, when it joined in hymn or psalm. 

One after the other, they all continued going up to the 
bed-side, and then coming away sobbing or silent, to see their 
merry little sister, who used to keep dancing all day like a 
butterfly in a meadow field, or like a butterfly with shut 
wings on a flower, trifling for a while in the silence of her 
joy, now tossing restlessly on her bed, and scarcely sensible 
to the words of endearment whispered around her, or the 
kisses dropt with tears, in spite of themselves, on her burn- 
ing forehead. 

Utter poverty often kills the affections ; but a deep, con 
stant, and common feeling of this world's hardships, and an 
equal participation in all those struggles by which they may 
be softened, unite husband and wife, parents and children, 
brothers and sisters, in thoughtful and subdued tenderness, 
making them happy indeed while the circle round the fire 
is unbroken, and yet preparing them every day to bear the 
separation, when some one or other is taken slowly or sud- 
denly away. Their souls are not moved by fits and starts 



Lesson T2.J FIRST CLASS BOOK. , ITS 

although, indeed, nature sometimes will wrestle with neces- 
sity ; and there is a wise moderation both in the joy and the 
grief of the intelligent poor, which keens lasting trouble 
away from their earthly lot, and prepares them silently and 
unconsciously for Heaven. 

" Do you think the child is dying V said Gilbert with a 
calm voice to the surgeon, who, on his wearied horse, had 
just arrived from another sick-bed, over the misty range of 
lull* ; and had been looking steadfastly for some minutes on 
the little patient. The humane man knew the family well, 
in the midst of whom he was standing, and replied, "While 
there is life there is hope ; but my pretty little Margaret is. I 
fear, in the last extremity. 5 ' There was no loud lamentation 
at these words— all had before known, though they would 
not confess it to themselves, what they now were told—and 
though the certainty that was in the words of the skilful man 
male their hearts beat for a little with sicker throbbings, 
made their pale faces paler, and brought out from some 
eyes a greater gush of tears ; yet death had been before in 
this house, and in this case he came, as he always does, in 
awe. but not in terrour. 

There were wandering, and wavering, and dreamy deliri 
ous phantasies in the brain of the innocent child ; but the few 
words she indistinctly uttered were affecting, not rending to 
the heart, for it was plain that she thought herself herding 
her sheep in the green, silent pastures, and sitting wrapped 
in her plaid unon the sunny side of the Birk-knowe. She 
was too much exhausted — there w r as too little life — too little 
breath in her heart, to frame a tune ; but some of her words 
seemed to be from favourite old songs ; and at last her mother 
wept, and turned aside her face, when the child, whose blue 
eyes were shut, and her lips almost still, breathed out these 
hues of the beautiful twenty-third psalm : 

The Lord's my Shepherd. I'll not want. 

He makes me down to lie 
In pastures green : lie leadeth me 

The quiet waters by. 

The child was now left with none but her mother by the 
bed-side, for it was said to be best so : and Gilbert and hi? 
family sat down round the kitchen fire, for a while, in silence. 
In about a quarter of an hour, they began to rise calmly, 
and to ^o each to his allotted work. One of the daughters 
went forth with the pail to milk the cow, and another began 

15 * 



174 THE AMERICAN [Lesson T2 

to set out the table ir the middle of the floor for supper, 
covering it with a white cloth* Gilbert viewed the usual 
household arrangements with a solemn and untroubled eye ; 
and there was almost the faint light of a grateful smile 
on his cheek, as he said to the worthy surgeon, " You will 
partake of our fare after your days travel and toil of hu- 
manity ." 

In a short, silent half hour, the potatoes and oat-cakes, 
butter and milk were on the board ; and Gilbert, lifting up 
his toil-hardened, but manly hand, with a slow motion, at 
which the room was as hushed as if it had been empty, 
closed his eyes in reverence, and asked a blessing. There 
was a little stool, on which no one sat, by the old man's 
side. It had been put there unwittingly, when the other 
seats were all placed in their usual order ; but the golden 
head that was wont to rise at that part of the table was 
row wanting. There was silence-— not a word was said — 
their meal was before them,— God had been thanked, and 
they began to eat. 



LESSON LXXIIL 

The $ame,-^Concladed. 

While thev were at their silent meal a horseman came 
gallopping to the door, and, with a loud voice, called out 
that he had been sent express with a letter to Gilbert 
Ainslie ; at the same time rudely, and with an oath, demand- 
ing a dram for his trouble. The eldest son, a lad of eighteen, 
fiercely seized the bridle of his horse, and turned his head 
away from the door. The rider, somewhat alarmed at the 
flushed face of the powerful stripling, threw down the letter 
and rode off. 

Gilbert took the letter from his son's hand, casting, a T 
the same time, a half upbraiding look on his face, that was 
returning to its former colour. "I feared," — said the youth, 
with a tear in his eye,—- " I feared tint the brute's voice, 
and the trampling of the horse's feet would have disturbed 
lien" Gilbert held the letter hesitatingly in his hand, as if 
afraid, at that moment, to read it ; at length, he said aloud 
ico- the surgeon* " You know that I am a poor man, and debt, 
U jus! r incurred, and punctually paid when due, is no dis* 



Lesson 73.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 175 

honour/' Both his hand and his voice shook slightly as he 
spoke ; but he opened the letter from the lawyer, and 
read it in silence. 

At this moment his wife came from her child's bed-side , 
and looking anxiously at her husband, *told him u not to 
mind about the money, that no man, who knew him, would 
arrest his goods, or put him into prison. Though, dear me, 
it is cruel to be put to it thus, when our bairn* is dying, and 
when, if so it be the Lord's will, she should have a decent 
burial, poor innocent, like them that went before her.' : 
Gilbert continued reading the letter with a face on which 
no emotion could be discovered ; and then, folding it up, he 
gave it to his wife, told her she might read it if she chose, 
and then put it into his desk in the room, beside the poor 
dear bair^ She took it from him, without reading it, and 
crushed it into her bosom ; for she turned her ear towards 
her child, and, thinking she heard it stir, ran out hastily to 
its bed-side. 

Another hour of trial past, and the child was still swim- 
ming for its life. The very dogs knew there was grief in 
the house, and lay without stirring, as if hiding themselves, 
below the long table at the window. One sister sat with an 
unfinished gown on her knees, that she had been sewing 
for the dear child, and still continued at the hopeless work, 
she scarcely knew why ; and often, often, putting up her 
hand to wipe away a tear. " What is that 7" said the old 
man to his eldest daughter : " What i3 that you are laying 
on the shelf 1" She could scarcely reply that it was a rib- 
and and an ivory comb that she had brought for little Mar- 
garet, against the night of the dancing-school ball. 

And, at these words, the father could not restrain a long, 
deep, and bitter groan ; at which the boy, nearest in age to 
his dying sister, looked up, weeping in his face, and letting 
the tattered book of old ballads, which he had been poring 
on, but not reading, fall out of his hands, he rose from his 
seat, and, going into his father's bosom, kissed him, and 
asked God to bless him ; for the holy heart of the boy was 
moved within him ; axid the old man, as he embraced him f 
felt that, in his innocence and simplicity, he was indeed a 
comforter. " The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away," 
said the old man; "blessed be the name of the Lord." 

The outer door gently opened, and he, whose presence 
had in former years brought peace and resignation hither, 

* Child, 



176 THE AMERICAN [Lessen 73- 

when tweir hearts had been tried, even as they now were 
tried, atood before them. On the night before the Sabbath, 
the minister of Auchindown never left his Manse,* except, 
as now, to visit the sick or dying bed. Scarcely could 
Gilbert reply to fyis first question about his child, when the 
surgeon came from the bed-room, and said, " Margaret 
seems lifted up by God's hand above death and the grave : 
J think she will recover. She has fallen asleep ; and when 
she wakes, I hope— I believe — that the danger will be past, 
and that your child will live." 

They were all prepared for death ; but now they were 
found unprepared for life. One wept that had till then 
locked up all her tears within her heart ; another gave a 
short, palpitating shriek ; and the tender-hearted Isabel, 
who had nursed the child when it was a baby, flirted away. 
The youngest brother gave way to gladsome smiles ; and, 
calling out his dog Hector, who used to sport with him and 
his little sister on the moor, he told the tidings to the dumb, 
irrational creature, whose eyes, it is certain, sparkled with 
a sort of joy. 

The clock, for some days, had been prevented from strik- 
ing the hours ; but the silent fingers pointed to the hour of 
nine ; and that, in the cottage of Gilbert Ainslie, was the 
stated hour of family worship. His own honoured minister 
took the book; 

He waledf a portion with judicious care : 

And Let us worship God, he said, with solemn air. 

A chapter was read — -a prayer said ; — and so, too, was sung 
a psalm ; but it was sung low, and with suppressed voices, 
lest the child's saving sleep might be broken ; and now and i 
then the female voices trembled, or some one of them ceas- 
ed altogether ; for there had been tribulation and anguish, 
nd now hope and faith were tried in the joy of thanksgiv- 



CI 



insr. 



The child still slept ; and its sleep seemed more sound 
and deep. It appeared almost certain that the crisis was 
over, and that the flower was not to fade. " Children,'' 
said Gilbert, " our happiness is in the love we bear to one 
another ; and our duty is in submitting to and serving Cod. 
Gracious, indeed, has he been unto us. Is not the recovery 
of out little darling, dancing, singing Margaret, worth all 

Manse, the parsonage, or minister's house, t Chose. 



Lesson 73.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 177 

the gold that ever was mined ? If we had had thousands of 
thousands, would we not have filled up her grave with the 
worthless dross of gold, rather than that she should have 
gone down there with her sweet face and all her rosy 
smiles?" There was no reply; but a joyful sobbing all 
over the room. 

" Never mind the letter, nor the debt, father," said the 
eldest daughter. " We have all some little things of our own 
■ — a few pounds — and we shall be able to raise as much as 
will keep arrest and prison at a distance. Or if they do 
take our furniture out of the house, all except Margaret's 
bed, who cares ? We will sleep on the floor ; and there are 
potatoes in the field, and clear water in the spring. We 
need fear nothing, want nothing ; blessed be God for all his 
mercies." 

Gilbert went into the sick-room, and got the letter from 
his wife, who was sitting at the head of the bed, watching, 
with a heart blessed beyond all bliss, the calm and regular 
breathings of her child. " This letter," said he mildly, " is 
not from a hard creditor. Come with me while I read it 
aloud to our children." The letter was read aloud, and it 
was well fitted to diffuse pleasure and satisfaction through 
the dwelling of poverty. It was from an executor to the 
will of a distant relative, who had left Gilbert Ainslie fifteen 
hundred pounds. " This sum," said Gilbert, " is a large 
one to folks like us, but not, I hope, large enough to turn 
our heads, or make us think ourselves all lords and ladies. 
It will do more, far more, than put me fairly above the 
world at last. I believe, that with it, I mav buv this very 
farm, on which my forefathers have toiled. But God, 
whose Providence has sent this temporal blessing, mav he 
send wisdom and prudence how to use it, and humble and 
grateful hearts to us all." 

" You will be able to send me to school all the year round 
now, father,'' said the youngest boy. "And you may leave 
the flail to your sons now, father," said the eldest. "You 
may hold the plough still, for you draw a straighter furrow 
than any of us ; but hard work for young sinews ; and you 
may sit now oftener in your arm-chair by the ingle. You 
will not need to rise now iii the dark, cold, and snowy win- 
ter mornings, and keep thrashing com in the barn for hours 
by candle-light, before the late dawning." 

There was silence, gladness, and sorrow, and but little 
sleep in Moss-side, between the rising and setting of the 



178 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 74 

stars, that were now out in thousands, clear, bright, and 
sparkling over the unclouded sky. Those who had lain 
down for an hour or two in bed, could scarcely be said to 
have slept ; and when, about morning, little Margaret 
awoke, an altered creature, pale, languid, and unable to 
turn herself on her lowly bed, but with meaning in her eyes, 
memory in her mind, affection in her heart, and coolness in 
all her veins, a happy group were watching the first faint 
smile that broke over her features ; and never did one who 
stood there forget that Sabbath morning, on which she 
seemed to look round upon them all with a gaze of fair and 
sweet bewilderment, like one half conscious of havino* been 
rescued from the power of the grave. 



LESSON LXXIV. 

The Grave Stones, — A Fragment. — James Gray. 

The grass is green and the spring floweret blooms, 

And the tree blossoms all as fresh and fair 

As death had never visited the earth ; 

Yet every blade of grass, and every flower, 

And every bud and blossom of the spring, 

Is the memorial that nature rears 

Over a kindred grave. — Ay, and the song 

Of woodland wooer, or his nuptial lay, 

As blithe as if the year no winter knew, 

Is the lament of universal death. 

The merry singer is the living link 

Of many a thousand years of death gone by, 

And many a thousand in futurity, — 

The remnant of a moment, spared by him 

But for another meal to gorge upon. 

This globe is but our father's cemetery — 

The sim, and moon, and stars that shine on high 

The lamps that burn to light their sepulchre, 

The bright escutcheons of their funeral vault. 

Yet does man move as ffavlv as the barge, 

Whose keel sings through the waters, and her sails 



Lesson 74.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 17<) 

Kythe* like the passing meteor of the deep ; 

Yet ere to-morrow shall those sunny waves, 

That wanton round her, as they were in love, fl 

Turn dark and fierce, and swell, and swallow her : 

So is he girt hy death on every side, 

As heedless of it. — Thus he perishes. 

Such were my thoughts upon a summer eve, 

As forth I walked to quaff the cooling breeze. 

The setting sun was curtaining the west 

With purple and with gold, so fiercely bright, 

That eve of mortal might not look on it — 

Pavilion fitting for an angel's home. 

The sun's last ray fell slanting on a thorn 

With blossoms white, and there a blackbird sat 

Bidding the sun adieu, in tones so sweet 

As fancy might awake around his throne. 

My heart was full, yet found no utterance, 

Save in a half-breathed sigh and moistening tear. 

I wandered on, scarce knowing where I went, 

Till I was seated on an infant's grave. 

Alas ! I knew the little tenant well : 

She was one of a lovely family, 

That oft had clung around me like a wreath 

Of flowers, the fairest of the maiden spring — 

It was a new-made grave, and the green sod 

Lay loosely on it ; yet affection there 

Had reared the stone, her monument of fame. 

I read the name — I loved to hear her lisp — - 

'Twas not alone, but every name was there 

That lately echoed through that happy dome. 

I had been three weeks absent ; in that time 

The merciless destroyer was at work, 

And spared not one of ail the infant group. 

The last of all I read the grandsire's name, 

On whose white locks I oft had seen her cheek, 

Like a bright sunbeam on a fleecy cloud, 

Rekindling in his eye the fading lustre, 

Breathing into his heart the glow of youth. 

He died at eighty of a broken heart, 

Bereft of all for whom he wished to live. 

^ * Kytht or Hike ; Show, used here as a neuter verb : The oldest 
finglish poets use it actively. " Ne kithe hire jealousie." — (fiawtr. 



ISO THE AMERICAN [Lesson 75 

LESSON LXXY. 

Stanzas written at Midnight, — D. Mom. 

'Tis night — and in darkness the visions of youth 

Flit solemn and slow in the eye of the mind ; 
The hope they excited hath perished, and truth • 

Laments o'er the wrecks they are leaving behind. 
s Tis midnight — and wide o'er the regions of riot 

Are spread, deep in silence, the wings of repose ; 
And man, soothed from revel, and lulled into quiet, 

Forgets in his slumbers the weight of his woes. 

How gloomy and dim is the scowl of the heaven, 

Whose azure the clouds with their darkness invest ; 
Not a star o'er the shadowy concave is given, 

To omen a something like hope to the breast. 
Hark ! how the lone night-wind uptosses the forest ! 

A downcast regret through the mind slowly steals : 
But ah ! 'tis the tempest of fortune that sorest 

The bosom of man in his solitude feels ! 

Where, where are the spirits in whom was my trust, 

Whose bosoms with mutual affection did burn ? 
Alas ! they have gone to their homes in the dust, 

The srrass rustles drearily over their urn : 
While I, in a populous solitude, languish, 

'Mid foes that beset me, and friends that are cold ; 
Ah ! the pilgrim of earth oft has felt in his anguish, 

That the heart may be widowed before it is old ! 

Affection can sooth but its votaries an hour, 

Doomed soon in the flames that it raised to depart ; 
And, ah ! disappointment has poison and power 

To ruffle and sour the most patient of heart. 
Too oft, 'neath the barb-pointed arrows of malice, 

Has merit been destined to bear and to bleed ; 
And they, who of pleasure have emptied the chalice, 

Have found that the dregs were full bitter indeed. 

Let the storms of adversity lower ; 'tis in vain — 

Tho' friends should forsake me, and foes should combine — 
Such may kindle the breasts of the weak to complain, 

Thev only can teach resignation to mine : 
For far o'er the regions of doubt and of dreaming, 

The spirit beholds a less perishing span ; 
And bright through the tempest the rainbow is streamings 

The sign of forgiveness from Heaven to man ! 



Lesson 76.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 181 

LESSON LXXVL 
Slavery. — Co wpee. 

for a lodge in some vast wilderness, 
Some boundless contiguity of shade, 
Where rumour of oppression and deceit, 
Of unsuccessful or successful war, 

Might never reach me more. My ear is pained, 

My soul is sick, with every day's report 

Of wrong and outrage, with which earth is filled. 

There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart, 

It does not feel for man ; the natural bond 

Of brotherhood is severed as the flax 

That falls asunder at the touch of fire. 

He finds his fellow guilty of a skin 

Not coloured like his*own; and having power 

To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause 

Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey. 

Lands intersected by a narrow frith 

Abhor each other. Mountains interposed 

Make enemies of nations, who had else 

Like kindred drops been mingled into one. 

Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys ; 

And, worse than all, and most to be deplored 

As human nature's broadest, foulest blot, 

Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat 

With stripes, that Mercy, with a bleeding heart, 

Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast. 

Then what is man ? And what man, seeing this, 

And having human feelings, does not blush, 

And hang his head, to think himself a man 1 

1 would not have a slave to till my ground, 
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep, 
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth 

^JThat sinews, bought and sold, have ever earn'd. 
No : dear as freedom is, and in my heart's 
Just estimation prized above all price, 
I had much rather be myself the slave, 
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him. 
We have no slaves at home — then why abroad ? 
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave 
That parts us, are emancipate and JoospH 
Slaves cannot breathe in England ; if tneir lunsrs 
Receive our air, that moment they are free ; 
16 



■ 



P THE AMERICAN [Lesson 72 

They touch our country, and their shackles fall. 
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud 
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then, 
And let it circulate through every vein 
Of all your empire ; that, where Britain's power 
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too. 



£ism 



* 



LESSON LXXVII. 

The same Subject. — Montgomery. 

The broken heart, which kindness never heals, 
The home-sick passion which the negro feels, 
When toiling, fainting in the land of canes, 
His spirit wanders to his native plains ; 
His little lovely dwelling there he sees, 
Beneath the shade of his paternal trees, 
The home of comfort : — then before his eyes 
The terrours of captivity arise. 
— 'Twas night : — his babes around him lay at rest, 
Their mother slumbered on their father's breast : 
4. yell of murder rang around their bed ; 
Fhey woke ; their cottage blazed ; the victims fled ; 
Forth sprang the ambush d ruffians on their prey, 
They caught, they bound, they drove them far away ; 
The white man bought them at the mart of blood ; 
In pestilential barks they cross'd the flood ; 
Then were the wretched ones asunder torn, 
To distant isles, to separate bondage borne, 
Denied, though sought with tears, the sad relief 
That misery loves, — the fellowship of grief. 

The negro, spoiled of all that nature gave — 
The freeborn man, thus shrunk into a slave ; 
His passive limbs to measured tasks confined, 
Obeyed the impulse of another mind ; 
A silent, secret, terrible control, 
That ruled his sinews, and repress'd his soul. 
Not for himself he waked at morning-light, 
Toii'd the long day, and sought repose at night; 
His rest, his labour, pastime, strength, and health, 
Were only portions of a master's wealth ; 
His love — O, name not love, where Britons doom 
The fruit of love to slavery from the womb. — 



Lesson 78.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. ' 183 

Tims spurned, degraded, trampled, and oppress'd, 
The negro-exile languished in the west, 
With nothing left of life but hated breath, 
And not a hope except the hope in death, 
To flv for ever from the Creole-strand, 
And dwell a freeman in his father's land. 

Lives there a savage ruder than the slave 1 
— C. del as death, insatiate as the grave, 
False as the winds that round his vessel blow, 
Remorseless as the gulf that yawns below, 
Is he who toils upon the wafting flood, 
A. Christian broker in the trade of blood • 
Boisterous in speech, in action prompt and bold, 
He buys, he sells, — he steals, he kills, for gold. 
At noon, when sky and ocean, calm and clear, 
Bend round his bark, one blue unbroken sphere; 
When dancing dolphins sparkle through the brine, 
And sunbeam circles o'er the waters shine ; 
He sees no beauty in the heaven serene, 
No soul-enchanting sweetness in the scene, 
But, darkly scowling at the glorious day, 
Curses the winds that loiter on their way. 
When swoln with hurricanes the billows rise, 
To meet the lightning midway from the skies ; 
When from the unburthen'd hold his shrieking slaves 

Are cast, at midnight, to the hungrv waves : 

7 , © ' © «/ * 

Not for his victims strangled in the deeps, 
Not for his crimes the harden'd pirate weeps, 
But, grimlv smiling, when the storm is o'er, 
Counts his sure gains, and hurries back for more. 



LESSON LXXVII1. 

The Slave Trade, — Extract from a Discourse deliveied at 
Plymouth, Mass. Dec. 22, 1820, in commemoration of the 
first settlement of Neic-England. — By Daniel W^ebster. 

If the blessings of our political and social condition have 
not now been too highly estimated, we cannot well overrate 
the responsibility which they impose upon us. We hold 
these institutions of government, religion, and learning, to be 
transmitted as well as enjoyed. We are in the line of con- 
veyance through which whatever has been obtained by the 



1M THE AlViEIitCAiN IJuessmi 76. 

spirit and efforts of our ancestors, is to be communicated to 
our children. 

We are bound to maintain publick liberty, and, by the ex- 
ample of our own systems, to convince the world, that order, 
and law, religion and morality, the rights of conscience, the 
rights of persons, and the rights of property, may all be 
preserved and secured, in the most perfect manner, by a 
government entirely and purely elective. If we fail in this, 
our disaster will be signal, and will furnish an argument, 
stronger than has yet been found, in support of those opin 
ions, which maintain that government can rest safely on 
nothing but power and coercion. As far as experience may 
show errours in our establishments, we are bound to correct 
them ; and if any practices exist, contrary to the principles 
of justice and humanity, within the reach of our laws or our 
influence, we are inexcusable if we do not exert ourselves 
to restrain and abolish them. 

I deem it my duty, on this occasion, to suggest, that the 
land is not yet wholly free from the contamination of a traf- 
fick, at which every feeling of humanity must revolt — I 
mean the African slave trade. Neither publick sentiment, 
nor the law, has yet been able entirely to put an end to this 
odious and abominable trade. At the moment when God, 
in his mercy, has blessed the world with a universal peace, 
there is reason to fear, that, to the disgrace of the christian 
name and character, new efforts are making for the exten- 
sion of this trade, by subjects and citizens of christian states, 
in whose hearts no sentiment of justice inhabits, and over 
whom neither the fear of God nor the fear of man exercises 
a control. In the sight of our law, the African slave trader 
is a pirate and a felon ; and in the sight of heaven, an of- 
- fender far beyond the ordinary depth of human guilt. There 
is no brighter part of our history, than that which records 
the measures which have been adopted by the government, 
at an early day, and at different times since, for the sup- 
pression of this traffick ; and I would call upon all the true 
sons of New-England, to cooperate with the laws of man, 
and the justice of heaven. 

If there be, within the extent of our knowledge or influ- 
ence, any participation in this traffick, let us pledge our- 
selves here, upon the Rock of Plymouth, to extirpate and 
destroy it. Itis not fit that the land of the pilgrims should 
bear the shame longer. I hear the sound of the hammer — 
I see the smoke of the furnaces where manacles and. fetters 



r> ** 



Lesson 79.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 15! 

are still forged for human limbs. I see the visages of those, 
Vho by stealth, and at midnight, labour in this work of hell, 
foid and dark, as may become the artificers of such instru- 
ments of misery and torture. Let that spot be purified, or 
let it cease to be of New-England. Let it be purified, or 
let it be set aside from the christian world ; let it be put out 
of the circle of human sympathies and human regards ; and 
let civilized man henceforth have no communion with it. 

I would invoke those who fill the seats of justice, and all 
who minister at her altar, that they execute the wholesome 
and necessary severity of the law. I invoke the ministers of 
our religion that they proclaim its denunciation of these 
crimes, and add its solemn sanctions to the authority of hu- 
man laws. If the pulpit be silent, whenever, or wherever 
there may be a sinner, bloody with this guilt, within the 
hearing of its voice, the pulpit is false to its trust. 

I call on the fair merchant, who has reaped his harvest 
upon the seas, that he assist in scourging from those seas the 
worst pirates that ever infested them. That ocean which 
seems to wave with a gentle magnificence, to waft the bur- 
dens of an honest commerce, and to roll its treasures with a 
conscious pride ; that ocean which hardy industry regards, 
even when the winds have rtifrled its surface, as a field of 
grateful toil.; what is it to the victim of this oppression when 
he is brought to its shores, and looks forth upon it for the first 
time, from beneath chains, and bleeding with stripes ?■ — 
What is it to him, but a wide spread prospect of suffering, 
anguish, and death ? — Nor do the skies smile longer ; nor is 
the air fragrant to him. The sun is cast down from heaven. 
An inhuman and cursed trainck has cut him off in his man- 
hood, or in his youth, from every enjoyment belonging to 
his being, and every blessing which his Creator intended for 
Kin> 



LESSON LXXIX. 

.tq,ori of an adjudged Case, not to be found in .any of the 

Books. — Cowper. 

Between Nose and Eves a strange- contest arose: 

mi G * 

The spectacles set them unhappily wrong ; 
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows, 
To which the said spectacles ought to belong. 

1(1 * 



ISO THE AMERICAN [Lesson 80. 

So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the enuse, 
With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning, 

While chief haron Ear sat to balance the laws, 
So famed for his talent in nicely discerning. 

"In behalf of the Nose, it will quickly appear, 

And your lordship" he said " will undoubtedly find, 

That the Nose has had spectacles always to wear, 
Which amounts to possession time out of mind. r 

Then holding the spectacles up to the court 

" Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle 

As wide as the ridge of the Nose is ! in short, 
Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle. 

" Again, would your worship a moment suppose, 
('Tis a case that has happened, and may be again) 

That the visage or countenance had not a Nose, 

Pray, who would, or who could, wear spectacles then ? 

u On the whole it appears, and my argument shows, 
With a reasoning the court will never condemn, 

That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose, 
And the Nose was as plainly intended for them." 

Then, shifting his side, (as a lawyer knows how) 
He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes : 

But what were his arguments few people know, 
For the court did not think they were equally wise. 

So his lordship decreed, with a grave, solemn tone, 
Decisive and clear, without one if or but 

That whenever the Nose put his spectacles on, 

By day-light or candle-light, — Eyes should be shut ! 



<»- 



LESSON LXXX. 

Song cf Rebecca, the Jevjcss. — Author of Ivaxhoe. 

When Israel, of the Lord beloved, 
Oat from the land of bondage came, 
Her father's God before her moved, 
An awful guide in smoke and flame. 



Lesson 81.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. . 167 

By day, along the astonished lands, 
The cloudy pillar glided slow ; 
By night, Arabia's crimsoned sands 
Returned the fiery column's glow. 

There rose the choral hymn of praise, 
And trump and timbrel answered keen ; 
And Zion's daughters poured their lays, 
With Priest's and Warriour's voice betw r een. 
No portents now our foes amaze, 
Forsaken Israel wanders lone ; 
Our fathers would not know thy ways, 
And thou hast left them to their own. 

But present still, though not unseen ! 
When brightly shines the prosperous day, 
Be thoughts of Thee a cloudy screen 
To temper the deceitful ray : 
And, oh ! where stoops on Judali } s path 
In shade and storm the frequent night, 
Be thou long-suffering, slow to wrath, 
A burning and a shining light ! 

Our harps we left by Babel's streams, 
The tyrant's jest, the Gentile's scorn ; 
No censer round our altar beams, 
And mute are timbrel, trump, and horn. 
But Thou hast said, the blood of goat, 
The flesh of rams I will not prize, 
A contrite heart, an humble thought, 
Are mine accepted sacrifice. 



LESSON LXXXI. 

On the reasonableness of Christian faith. — Buckminster. 

It is a common artifice, of those who wish to depreciate 
the value of this essential principle of a christian's life, to 
represent faith as something opposed to reason. So far is this 
from being true, that faith is, in fact, the most reasonable 
thing in the world ; and, wherever religion is not concerned, 
the universal practice of mankind evinces, that such a prin- 
ciple is indispensable to the most common exercise of the 



183 TKE AMERICAN [Lesson 81. 

understanding;, and to the daily conduct of life. Faith is 
reasonable, because it is the involuntary homage which the 
mind pays to the preponderance of evidence. Faith, that is 
not founded on testimony, is no longer faith. 

And as it is sufficient evidence only, on which a rational 
faith can be supported, so if the whole of this evidence is 
intelligibly presented to a sound understanding, it will not 
fail to command belief. An eve, not affected by disease, 
easily distinguishes colours ; and we unavoidably believe the 
existence of the objects within the sphere of its vision. Now 
the laws of moral probability are just as sure as the laws of 
vision. That the same exhibition of facts, or the same pro- 
cess of reasoning, does not produce equal conviction on dif- 
ferent minds, is not more sururisino- than that the same 
glasses will not make objects equally distinct to eyes dif- 
ferently affected. But to conclude, from this variety of 
effect, that the objects presented do not exist, or that the 
laws of vision are ill-founded and absurd, would be no more 
unreasonable than to assume the folly of religious faith, or 
to doubt the rational conviction of a pious and impartial in- 
quirer, merely because the whole world are not believers. 

We cannot wonder, that the evidences, on which our 
christian faith is built, do not produce universal conviction, 
when we remember, that this is a religion, which contra- 
dicts many of the selfish propensities of the heart, and is at 
war with all the lusts to which we are habitually enslaved. 
It is a religion, which condemns many of our habits, and 
requires us to moderate our growing attachment to a world 
we cannot bear to leave ; a religion, which often opposes 
our passions, which shows us the folly of our fondest expec- 
tations, which alarms our sleeping fears, undervalues the 
objects of our estimation, requires the surrender of our 
prejudices, and makes it necessary for us to be in readiness 
to yield up even our comforts and our life. 

Astonishing would it, be, indeed, if a system like this 
should command universal belief, if prejudice should have 
nothing to object, captiousness nothing to cavil at, and in- 
difference no excuses. Astonishing, indeed,, would it be, 
if the evidences of such a revelation should be received, 
with equal facility, by the worldly and the spiritual, the 
careless and the inquisitive, the proud and the humble, 
the ambitious and the unaspiring, the man immersed in 
pleasure and dissipation, and the man who has been long 
disciplined in the school of disappointment and affliction. 



i*f&on?\.\ FIRST CLASS BOOK. 1S9 

Neither is religious faith unreasonable, because it includes 
miraculous events, nor because it embraces a series of truths, 
which no individual reason could have ascertained, or of 
which it may not, even now, see the necessity. It is on 
this account, however, that we so often hear faith opposed 
to reason ; but, on the same principle, faith in any extraor- 
dinary occurrence would be opposed to reason. 

The only objection to the credibility of miracles is, that 
they are contrary to general experience ; for to say, that 
they are contrary to universal experience, is to assume the 
very fact in question. Because they are supernatural, no 
testimony, it is maintained, can make it reasonable to be- 
lieve them. This would not be just, even if the miracles 
which religious faith embraces were separate, insulated 
facts, which had no connexions with any other interesting 
truths ; much less when they make part of a grand system, 
altogether worthy the interposition of God to establish. 

The extraordinary nature of miraculous facts, considered 
by themselves, is, it is true, a presumption against them, but 
a presumption, which sufficient testimony ought as fairly to 
remove, as it does remove the previous improbability of 
ordinary racts, not supernatural. A man, born and living 
within the tropicks, who had never seen water congealed, 
would no doubt think it a very strange story, if a traveller 
from the north should assure him, that the same substance, 
which he had always seen liquid, was every year, in other 
countries, converted into a solid mass capable of sustaining 
the greatest weights. 

What could more decisively contradict all the experience 
of the tropical inhabitant, and even the experience of those 
with whom he had alwavs been connected 1 Yet should 
we not think it very unreasonable, if he should, in this case, 
persist in discrediting the testimony even of a single man, 
whose veracity he had no reason tj suspect, and much 
more, if he should persist in opposition to the concurrent 
and continually increasing testimony of numbers ? Let this 
be an illustration of the reasonableness of your faith m 
miracles. 

As it respects the credibility of revelation, you have this 
alternative. Will you believe, that the pure system of 
christian faith, which appeared eighteen hundred years ago, 
in one of the obscurest regions of the Roman empire, at the 
moment of the highest mental cultivation and of the lowest 
moral degeneracy, which superseded at once all the curious 



190 THE AMERICAiN [Lesson S2. 

fabricks of pagan philosophy, which spread almost instanta 
neously through the civilized world in opposition to the 
prejudices, the pride and the persecution of the times, 
which has already had the most beneficial influence on so- 
ciety, and been the source of almost all the melioration of 
the human character, and which is now the chief support of 
the harmony, the domestick happiness, the morals and the 
intellectual improvement of the best part of the world — will 
you believe, I say, that this system originated in the un- 
aided reflections of twelve Jewish fishermen on the sea of 
Galilee, with the son of a carpenter at their head ? Or will 
you achrit a supposition, which solves all the wonders of 
this case, which accounts at once for the perfection of the 
system, and the miracle of its propagation, — that Jesus was, 
as he professed to be, the prophet of God, and that his 
apostles were, as they declared, empowered to perform the 
miracles, which subdued the incredulity of the world. 

I appeal to you, ye departed masters of pagan wisdom, 
Plato, Socrates, Cicero, which of these alternatives is the 
most rational, the most worthy of a philosophical assent ? 
Your systems have passed away, like the light clouds, which 
chase one another over the hemisphere ; but the gospel of 
Jesus Christ, the sun of righteousness, pursues its equal and 
luminous career, uninterrupted and unobscured. Surely, if 
a miracle of the New Testament is incredible, what will 
you say of the enormous faith of a man, who believes in 
that monster of improbability, which we have described 
the simply human origin and progress of Christianity ? 



LESSON LXXXII. 

On the importance of Christian faith. — Buckminster. 

Tite value of christian faith may be estimated from the 
consolations it affords. 

Who would look back upon the history of the world with 
the eye of incredulity, after having once read it with the 
eye cf faith 1 To the man of faith it is the story of God's 
operations. To the unbeliever it is only the record of the 
strange sports of a race of agents, as uncontrolled, as they 
are unaccountable. To the man of faith every portion of 
history is part of a vast plan, conceived, ages ago, in the 
mind of Omnipotence, which has been fitted precisely to the 



Lesson 82.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 191 

period it was intended to occupy. The whole series of 
events forms a magnificent and symmetrical fabrick to the 
eye of pious contemplation; and though the dome be in the 
clouds, and the top, from its loftiness, be Indiscernible to 
mortal vision, yet the foundations are so deep and solid, 
that we are sure they are intended to support something 
permanent and grand. 

To the skeptick all the events of all the ages of the world 
are but a scattered crowd of useless and indigested materials. 
In his mind all is darkness, all is incomprehensible. The 
light of prophecy illuminates not to him the obscurity of 
ancient annals. He sees in them neither design nor opera- 
tion, neither tendencies nor conclusions. To him the won 
derful knowledge of one people is just as interesting, as the 
desperatQ ignorance of another. In the deliverance, which 
God has sometimes wrought for the oppressed, he sees 
nothing but the fact ; and in the oppression and decline of 
haughty empires, nothing but the common accidents of 
national fortune. Going about to account for events, ac- 
cording to what he calls general laws, he never for a mo- 
ment considers, that all laws, whether physical, political, 
or moral, imply a legislator, and are contrived to serve 
some purpose. Because he cannot always, by his short- 
sighted vision, discover the tendencies of the mighty events, 
of which this earth has been the theatre, he looks on the 
drama of existence around him as proceeding without a plan. 
Is that principle, then, of no importance, which raises man 
above what his eyes see, or his ears hear, or his touch faels, 
at present, and shows him the vast chain of human events, 
fastened eternally to the throne of God, and returning, af- 
ter embracing the universe, again to link itself to the foot^ 
stool of Omnipotence 1 

Would you know the value of this principle of faith to the 
bereaved 1 Go, and follow a corpse to the grave. See the 
body deposited there, and hear the earth thrown in upon all 
that remains of your friend. Return now, if you will, and 
brood over the lesson, which your senses have given you, 
and derive from it what consolation you can. You have 
learned nothing but an unconsoiing fact. No voice of com- 
fort issues from the tomb. All i-s still there, and blank and 
lifeless, and has been so for ages. 

You see nothing but bodies dissolving and successively 
mingling with the clods, which cover them, the grass grow- 
ing over the spot, and the trees waving in sullen majesty 



192 THE AM£#*CAJV [Lesson 82 

over this region of eternal silence. And what is there more ? 
Nothing? — Come, faith, and people these deserts ! Come, 
and reanimate these regions of forgetful ness ! Mothers ! take 
again your children to your arms, for they are living. Sons ! 
your aged parents are coming forth in the vigour of regen- 
erated years. Friends ! behold, your dearest connexions are 
waiting to embrace you. The tombs are burst. Genera- 
tions, long since lost in slumbers, are awaking. They are 
coming from the east and the west, from the north and from 
the south, to constitute the community of the blessed. 

But it is not in the loss of friends alone, that faith furnish- 
es consolations, which are inestimable. With a man of faith 
not an affliction is lost, not a change is unimproved. He 
studies even his own history with pleasure, and finds it full 
of instruction. The dark passages of his life are illuminated 
with hope : and he sees, that, although he has passed through 
many dreary defiles, yet they have opened at last into 
brighter regions of existence. He recalls, with a species of 
wondering gratitude, periods of his life, when all its events 
seemed to conspire against him. Hemmed in by straitened 
circumstances, wearied with repeated blows of unexpected 
misfortune, and exhausted with the painful anticipation of 
more, he recollects years, when the ordinary love of life 
could not have retained him in the world. Manv a time he 
might have wished to lay down his being in disgust, had not 
something more than the senses provide us with kept up 
the elasticity of his mind. He yet lives, and has found that 
light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright 
in heart. 

The man of faith discovers some gracious purpose in 
everv combination of circumstances. Wherever he finds 
himself, he knows that he has a destination — he has, there- 
fore, a duty. Every event has, in his eye, a tendency and an 
aim. Nothing is accidental, nothing without a purpose, noth- 
ing unattended with benevolent consequences. Every thing on 
earth is probationary, nothing ultimate. He is poor — perhaps 
his plans have been defeated — he finds it difficult to provide 
for the exigencies of life — sickness is permitted to invade 
the quiet of his household — long confinement imprisons his 
activity, and cuts short the exertions, on which so many de- 
pend — something apparently unlucky mars his best plans — 
new failures and embarrassments among his friends present 
themselves, and throw additional obstructions in his way — 
the world look on, and say, all these things are against him. 



Lesson 82.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. s 193 

Some wait coolly for the hour, when he shall sink under 
the complicated embarrassments of his cruel fortune. Oth- 
ers, of a kinder spirit, regard him with compassion, and won- 
der how he can sustain such a variety of wo. A few there 
are, a very few I fear, who can understand something of 
the serenity of his mind, and comprehend something of the 
nature of his fortitude. There are those, whose sympathet- 
ick piety can read and interpret the characters of resigna- 
tion on his brow. There are those, in fine, who have felt 
the influence of faith. 

In this influence there is nothing mysterious, nothing ro- 
mantick, nothing of which the highest reason may be asham- 
ed. It shows the christian his God, in all the mild majesty 
of his parental character. It shows you God, disposing in 
still and benevolent wisdom the events of every individual's 
life, pressing the pious spirit with the weight of calamity to 
increase the elasticity of the mind, producing characters of 
unexpected worth by unexpected misfortune, invigorating 
certain virtues by peculiar probations, thus breaking the #**-* 
ters which bind us to temporal things, and 

From seeming evil still educing good, 
And better thence again, and better still, 
In infinite progression. 

When the sun of the believer's hopes, according to common 
'calculations, is set, to the eye of faith it is still visible. 
When much of the rest of the world is in darkness, the high 
ground of faith is illuminated with the brightness of reli- 
gious consolation. 

Come, now, my incredulous friends, and follow me to the 
bed of the dying believer. Would you see, in what peace a 
christian can die ? Watch the last gleams of thought, 
which stream from his dying eyes. Do you see any thing 
like apprehension 1 The world, it is true, begins to shut 
in. The shadows of evening collect around his senses. A 
dark mist thickens and rests upon the objects, which have 
hitherto engaged his observation. The countenances of his 
friends become more and more indistinct. The sweet ex- 
pressions of love and friendship are no longc;- intelligible. 
His ear wakes no more at the well-known voice of his chil- 
dren, and the soothing accents of tender affection die away, 
unheard, upon his decaying senses. To him the spectacle 
of human life is drawing to its close, and the curtain is de 
scending, which shuts out this earth, its actors, and its scenes 
He is no longer interested in all that is done under the sun 

17 



104 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 83.. 

O ! that I could now open to you the recesses of his soul ; 
that I could reveal to you the light, which darts into the 
chambers of his understanding. He approaches the world, 
which he has so long seen in faith. The imagination now 
collects its diminished strength, and the eye of faith opens 
wide. 

Friends ! do not stand, thus fixed in sorrow, around this 
bed of death. Why are you so still and silent ? Fear not 
to move — you cannot disturb the last visions, which en- 
trance this holy spirit. Your lamentations break not in 
upon the songs of seraphs, which enwrap his hearing in ec- 
stasy. Crowd, if you choose, around his couch — he heeds 
you not — already he sees the spirits of the just advancing 
together to receive a kindred soul. Press him not with iai* 
portunities ; urge him not with alleviations. Think you he 
wants now these tones of mortal voices — these material, 
these gross consolations 1 No ! He is going to add another 
to the myriads of the just, that are every moment crowding 
into the portals of heaven ! 

He is entering on a nobler life. He leaves you — he leaves 
you, weeping children of mortality, to grope about a little 
longer among the miseries and sensualities of a worldly life. 
Already he cries to you from the regions of bliss. Will you 
not join him there 1 Will you not taste the sublime joys of 
faith? There are your predecessors in virtue ; there, too, 
are places left for your contemporaries. There are seats 
for you in the assembly of the just made perfect./ in the 
innumerable company of angels, where is Jesus, the me- 
diator of the new covenant, and God, the judge of all. 



LESSON LXXXIII. 

" All things art of God" — Moore. 

Thou art, O God, the life and light 
Of all this wondrous world we see ; 

Its glow by day, its smile by night, 
Are but reflections caught from thee. 

Where'er we turn, thy glories shine, 

And all things fair and bright are thine. 

When day, with farewell beam, delays 
Among the opening clouds of even, 



Lesson 84.] FIRST CLASS BOOK, L9S 

And we can almost think we gaze 

Through ooenino; vistas into heaven ; 
Those hues that make the sun's decline 
So soft, so radiant, Lord, are thine. 

When night, with wings of starry gloom, 
O'ershadows all the earth and skies, 

Like some dark, beauteous bird, whose plume 
Is sparkling with unnumber'd eyes ; — 

That sacred gloom, those fires divine, 

So grand, so countless, Lord, are thine. 

When youthful Spring around us breathes, 
Thy spirit warms her fragrant sigh ; 

And every flower that Summer wreaths 
Is born beneath thy kindling eye : 

Where'er we turn thy glories shine, 

And all things fair and bright are thine. 



LESSON LXXXIY. 

The Cored Grove. — J. G. Percival* 

Deep in the wave is a Coral grove, 
Where the purple mullet and gold-fish rove, 
Where the sea-flower spreads its leaves of blue 
That never are wet with the falling dew, 
But hi bright and chanceful beauty shine, 
Far down in the green and glassy brine. 
The floor is of sand, like the mountain's drift, 
And the pearl-shells spangle the flinty snow; 
From coral rocks the sea-plants lift 

Their boughs where the tides and billows flow. 
The water is calm and still below, 

For the winds and waves are absent there, 
And the sands are bright as the stars that glow 

In the motionless fields of upper air. 
There, with its waving blade of green, 

The sea-flag streams through the silent water, 
And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen 

To blush like a banner bathed in slaughter. 
There, with a light and easv motion, 

The fan-coral sweeps through the clear deep sea ; 
And the yellow and scarle-t tufts of ocean 
Are bending, like corn on the upland lea. 



\ - 



1136 , THE AMERICAN [Lesson SO, 

And life, in rare and beautiful forms, 

Is sporting amid those bowers of stone, 
And is safe, when the wrathful spirit of storms 

Has made the top of the wave his own : 
And when the ship from his fury flies, 

Where the myriad voices of ocean roar, 
When the wind-god frowns in the murky skies, 

And dsemons are waiting the wreck on the shore ; 
Then, far below, in the peaceful sea, 

The purple mullet and gold-fish rove, 
There the waters murmur tranquilly 

Through the bending twigs of the coral grove. 



LESSON LXXXV. 

Sonnet 

Written in a church-yard. — Blackwood's Magazine. 

A sweet and soothing influence breathes around 
The dwellings of the dead. Here on this spot, 
Where countless generations sleep forgot, 
Up from the marble tomb and grassy mound, 
There cometh on my ear a peaceful sound, 
That bids me be contented with my lot, 
And suffer calmly. O ! when passions hot, 
When rage or envy doth my bosom wound ; 
Or wild designs — a fair deceiving train — 
Wreathed in their flowery fetters me enslave ; 
Or keen misfortune's arrowy tempests roll 
Full on my naked head, — O, then, again 
May these still, peaceful accents of the grave, 
Arise like slumbering musick on my soul. 



LESSON LXXXVI. 

Night. — Dennie's Lay Preacher. 

" Watchman, what of the night ?" 

Isaiah xxi. 11. 

To this query of Isaiah, the watchman replies, " That 
the morning cometh, and also the night." The brevity 



Lesion 86.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 197 

of this answer has left it involved in something of the 
obscurity of the season when it w^as given. I think that 
night, however sooty and ill-favoured it may be pronounced 
by those who were born under a day-star, merits a more 
particular description. I feel peculiarly disposed to arrange 
some ideas in favour of this season. I know that the ma- 
jority are literally blind to -its merits ; they must be promi- 
nent indeed to be discerned by the closed eyes of the snorer, 
who thinks that night was made for nothing but sleep. But 
the student and the sage are willing to believe that it was 
formed for higher purposes ; and that it not only recruits 
exhausted spirits, but sometimes informs inquisitive, and 
amends wicked ones. 

Duty, as well as inclination, urges the Lay Preacher to 
sermonize, while others slumber. To read numerous vol- 
umes in the morning, and to observe various characters at 
noon, will leave but little time, exceot t*« ««*i ♦" — ^ 

the 22Z Zi speculate upon the other. The night, therefore, 
is often dedicated to composition, and while the light of the 
paly planet? discovers at his desk the Preacher, more wan 
than they, he may be heard repeating emphatically with 
Dr. Young, 

" Darkness has much Divinity for ine." 

He is then alone, he is then at peace. No companions near, 
but the silent volumes on his shelf, no noise abroad, but the 
click of the village clock, or the bark of the village dog. 
The deacon has then smoked his sixth, and last pipe, and 
asks not a question more, concerning Josephus, or the 
church. Stillness aids study, and the sermon proceeds. 
Such being the obligations to night, it would be ungrate- 
ful not to acknowledge them. As my watchful eyes can 
discern its dim beauties, my warm heart shall feel, and my 
prompt pen shall describe, the uses and the pleasures of 
the nocturnal hour. 

Watchman, what of the night ? I can with propriety 
imagine this question addressed to myself; I am a professed 
lucubrator, and who so well qualified to delineate the sable 
hours, as 

" A meager, muse-rid mope, adust and thin ?" 

However injuriously night is treated by the sleepy moderns, 
the vigilance of the ancients could not overlook its benefits 
and joys In as early a record, as the book of Genesis, I 
find that Isaac, though he devoted his assiduous days to 

17* 



198 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 8C 

action, reserved speculation till night. " He went out to 
meditate in the field at the eventide." He chose that sad, 
that solemn hour, to reflect upon the virtues of a beloved, 
and departed mother. The tumult and glare ®f day suited 
not with the sorrow of his soul. He had lost his most 
amiable, most genuine friend, and his unostentatious grief 
was eager for privacy and shade. Sincere sorrow rarely 
suffers its tears to be seen. It was natural for Isaac to se- 
lect a season to weep in, which should resemble " the col- 
our of his fate." The darkness, the solemnity, the stillness 
of the eve, were favourable to his melancholy purpose. He 
forsook, therefore, the bustling tents of his father, the 
pleasant "south country," and "well of Lahairoi," he went 
out and pensively meditated at the eventide. 

The Grecian and Roman philosophers firmly believed 
that " the dead of midnight is the noon of thought." One 
of them is beautifully described by the poet, as soliciting 
Knowledge nom the skies, in private and nightly audience^ 
and that neither his theme, nor his nightly walks were for- 
saken till the sun appeared and dimmed his " nobler intel- 
lectual beam." We undoubtedly owe to the studious nights 
of the ancients most of their elaborate and immortal pro- 
ductions. Among them it was necessary that every man of 
letters should trim the midnight lamp. The day might be 
given to the forum or the circus, but the night was the sea- 
son for the statesman to project his schemes, and for the 
poet to pour his verse. 

Night has likewise with great reason been considered in 
every age as the astronomer's day. Young observes, with 
energy, that " an imdevout astronomer is mad." The privi- 
lege of contemplating those brilliant and numerous myriads 
of planets which bedeck our skies is peculiar to night, and 
it is our duty, both as lovers of moral and natural beauty, to 
bless that season, when we are indulged with such a gorgeous 
display of glittering and useful light. It must be confessed 
that the seclusion, calmness, and tranquillity of midnight, is 
most friendly to serious, and even airy contemplations. 

I think it treason to this sable power, who holds divided 
empire with day, constantly to shut our eyes at her approach. 
To long sleep, I am decidedly a foe. As it is expressed by 
a quaint writer, we shall all have enough of that in the 
grave. Those, who cannot break the silence of night by 
vocal throat, or eloquent tongue, may be permitted to dis- 
turb it by a snore. But he, among my readers, who possesses 



Lesson 87.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 199 

the power of fancy and strong thought, should be vigilant 
as a watchman. Let him sleep abundantly for health, but 
sparingly for sloth. It is better, sometimes, to consult a page 
of philosophy than the pillow. 



LESSON LXXXVII. 

Midnight Musings. — W. Irving. 

I am now alone in my chamber. The family have l©ng 
since retired. I have heard their steps die away, and the 
doors clap to after them. The murmur of voices and the 
peal of remote laughter no longer reach the ear. The 
clock from the church, in which so many of the former 
inhabitants of this house lie buried, has chimed the awful 
hour of midnight. 

I have sat by the window and mused upon the dusky 
landscape, watching the lights disappearing one by one 
from the distant village ; and the moon, rising in her silent 
majesty, and leading up all the silver pomp of heaven. As 
I have gazed upon these quiet groves and shadowing lawns, 
silvered over and imperfectly lighted by streaks of dewy 
moonshine, my mind has been crowded by " thick coming 
fancies" concerning those sniritual beings which 

O J. _ 

" Walk the earth 

Unseen both when we wake and when we sleep.** 

Are there, indeed, such beings ? Is this space between us 
and the Deity filled up by innumerable orders of spiritual 
beings, forming the same gradations between the human 
soul and divine perfection, that we see prevailing from 
humanity down to the meanest insect ? It is a sublime and 
beautiful doctrine inculcated by the early fathers that there 
are guardian angels appointed to watch over cities and na- 
tions, to take care of good men, and to guard and guide the 
steps of helpless infancy. Even the doctrine of departed 
spirits returning to visit the scenes and beings which were 
dear to them during the bodies' existence, though it has 
been debased by the absurd superstitions of the vulgar, in 
itself is awfuilv solemn and sublime. 



200 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 87 

However lightly it may be ridiculed, yet, the attention 
involuntarily yielded to it whenever it is made the subject 
of serious discussion, and its prevalence in all ages and 
countries, even among newly discovered nations that have 
had no previous interchange of thought with other parts of 
the world, prove it to be one of those mysterious and in- 
stinctive beliefs, to which, if left to ourselves, we should 
naturally incline. 

In spite of all the pride of reason and philosophy, a vague 
doubt will still lurk in the mind, and perhaps will never be 
eradicated, as it is a matter that does not admit of positive 
demonstration. Who yet has been able to comprehend and 
describe the nature of the soul ; its mysterious connexion 
with the body ; or in what part of the frame it is situated 1 
We know merely that it does exist : but whence it came, 
and when it entered into us, and how it is retained, and 
where it is seated, and how it operates, are all matters of 
mere speculation, and contradictory theories. If, then, we 
are thus ignorant of this spiritual essence, even while ; 4 v 
forms a part of ourselves, and 5g CGiitiiiuaiiy present to our 
consciousness how can we pretend to ascertain or deny its 
powers and operations, when released from its fleshly pris- 
on-house 1 

Every thing connected with our spiritual nature is full of 
doubt and difficulty. " We are fearfully and wonderfully 
made :" we are surrounded by mysteries, and we are mys- 
teries even to ourselves. It is more the manner in which 
this superstition has been degraded, than its intrinsick ab- 
surdity, that has brought it into contempt. Raise it above 
the frivolous purposes to which it has been applied, strip it 
of the gloom and horrour with which it has been enveloped, 
and there is none, in the whole circle of visionary creeds, 
that could more delightfully elevate the imagination, or 
more tenderly affect the heart. It would become a sove- 
reign comfort at the bed of death, soothing the bitter tear 
wrung from us by the agony of mortal separation. 

What could be more consoling than the idea that the 
souls of those we once loved were permitted to return a*"d 
watch over our welfare ? — that affectionate and guardian 
spirits sat by our pillows when we slept, keeping a vigil 
over our most helpless hours ? — that beauty and innocence, 
which had languished into the tomb, vet smiled unseen 
around us, revealing themselves in those blest dreams 
wherein we live over again the hours of past endearments ? 



Lesson 87.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. . 201 

A belief of this kind would, I should think, be a new in- 
centive to virtue, rendering us circumspect, even in our 
most secret moments, from the idea that those we once 
loved and honoured were invisible witnesses of all our ac- 
tions. 

It would take away, too, from that loneliness and destitu- 
tion, which we are apt to feel more and more as we get on 
in our pilgrimage through the wilderness of this world, and 
find that those who set forward with us lovingly and cheer- 
ily, on the journey, have one by one dropped away from 
our side. Place the superstition in this light, and I confess 
I should like to be a believer in it. — I see nothing in it 
that is incompatible with the tender and merciful nature of 
our religion, or revolting to the wishes and affections of 
the heart. 

There are departed beings that I have loved as I never 
again shall love in this world ; that have loved me as 1 
never again shall be loved. If such beings do even retain 
in their blessed spheres the attachments which they felt on 
earth ; if they take an interest in the poor concerns of 
transient mortality, and are permitted to hold communion 
with those whom they have loved on earth, I feel as if 
now, at this deep hour of night, in this silence and solitude, 
I could receive their visitation with the most solemn but 
unalloyed delight. 

In truth, such visitations would be too happy for this 
world : they would take away from the bounds and barriers 
that hem us in and keep us from each other. Our existence 
is doomed to be made up of transient embraces and long 
separations. The most intimate friendship — of what brief 
and scattered portions of time does it consist ! We take 
each other by the hand ; and we exchange a few words 
and looks of kindness ; and we rejoice together for a few 
short moments ; and then days, months, years intervene, 
and we have no intercourse with each other. Or if we 
dwell together for a season, the grave soon closes its gates, 
and cuts off all further communion ; and our spirits must 
remain in separation and widowhood, until they meet again 
in that more perfect state of being, where soul shall dwell 
with soul, and there shall be no such thing as death, or ab- 
sence, or any other interruption of our union. 



202 . THE AMERICAN [Lesson 88. 

LESSON LXXXVIII. 

Spring. — Dennie. 

'^Tiuly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to be- 
hold the sun. — Ecclesiastes, xi. 7. 

The sensitive Gray in a frank letter to his friend West, 
assures him that, when the sun grows warm enough to tempt 
him from the fire-side, he will, like all other things, be the 
better for his influence ; for the sun is an old friend, and an 
excellent nurse. This is an opinion, which will be easily 
entertained by every one, who has been cramped by the icy 
hand of Winter, and who feels the gay and renovating in- 
fluence of Spring. In those mournful months, when vege- 
tables and animals are alike coerced by cold, man is tribu- 
tary to the howling storm and the sullen sky ; and is, in the 
pathetick phrase of Johnson, a " sla^e to gloom." But when 
the earth is disencumbered of her load of snows, and warmth 
is felt, and twittering swallows are heard, he is again jocund 
and free. Nature renews her charter to her sons, and re- 
joicing mortals, in the striking language of the poet, " revisit 
light, and feel its sovereign, vital lamp." Hence is enjoyed, 
in the highest luxury, 

" Day, and the sweet approach of even, and morn, 
And sight of vernal bloom, and summer's rose, 
And flocks, and herds, and human face divine." 

It is nearly impossible for me to convey to my readers an 
idea of the " vernal delight," felt, at this period, by the Lay 
Preacher, far declined in the vale of years. My spectral 
figure, pinched by the rude gripe of January, becomes as 
thin as that " dagger of lath," employed by the vaunting 
FalstafT ; and my mind, affected by the universal desolation 
of Winter, is nearly as vacant of joy and bright ideas, as 
the forest is of leaves, and the grove is of song. 

Fortunately, for my happiness, this is only periodical 
spleen. Though, in the bitter months, surveying my exten- 
uated body, I exclaim, with the melancholy prophet, " M/ 
leanness, my leanness, wo unto me !" and though, adverting 
to the state of my mind, I behold it, " all in a robe of dark- 
est grain ;" yet, when April and May reign in sweet vicissi- 
tude, I give, like Horace, care to the winds : and perceive 
the whole system excited, by the potent stimulus of sunshine. 

An ancient bard, of the happiest descriptive powers, and 
who noted objects, not only with the eye of a poet, but with 



Lesson S3.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 203 

the accuracy of a philosopher, says, in a short poem, de- 
voted to the praises of mirth, that 

" Young and old come forth to play, 
On a sunshine holiday." 

In merry Spring-time, not only birds, but melancholick, 
old feMows, like myself, sing. The sun is the poet's, the 
invalid's, and the hypochondriack's friend. Under clement 
skies, and genial sunshine, not only the body is corroborat- 
ed, but the mind is vivified, and the heart becomes " open as 
day." I may be considered fanciful in the assertion, but I 
am positive that many, who, in November, December, Jan- 
uary, February, and March, read nothing but Mandeviile, 
Rochefoucault,* and Hobbes, and cherish malignant thoughts, 
at the expense of poor human nature, abjure their evil books 
and sour theories, when a softer season succeeds. I have, 
myself, in Winter, felt hostile to those, whom I could smile 
upon in May, and clasp to my bosom in June. Our moral 
qualities, as well as natural objects, are affected by physical 
laws ; and I can easily conceive that benevolence, no less 
than the sun flower, flourishes and expands under the lumi 
nary of day. 

With unaffected earnestness, I hope that none of my 
readers will look upon the agreeable visitation of the sun, 
at this beauteous season, as the impertinent call of a crab- 
bed monitor, or an importunate dun. I hope that none will 
churlishly tell him " how they hate his beams." I am cred- 
ibly informed that several of my city friends, many fine 
ladies, and the worshipful society of loungers, consider the 
early call of the above red-faced personage, as downright 
intrusion. It must be confessed that he is fond of prying 
into chambers and closets, but, not like a rude searcher, or 
libertine gallant', for injurious or licentious purposes. His 
designs are beneficent, and he is one of the warmest friends 
in the world. 

Notwithstanding his looks are sometimes a little suspi- 
cious, and he presents himself with the fiery eye and flushed 
cheek of a jolly toper, yet this is only a new proof of the 
fallacy of physiognomy, for he is the most regular being in 
the universe. He keeps admirable hours, and is steady, 
diligent, and punctual to a proverb. Conscious of his shin- 
ing merit, and dazzled by his regal glory, I must rigidly 
inhibit all from attempting to exclude his person T caution 

* Pronounced Rosh-foo-cb. 



204 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 89 

sluggards to abstain from the use of shutters, curtains, and 
all other villanous modes of insulting my ardent friend. 
My little garden, my only support, and myself, are equally 
the objects of his care, and were it not for the constant loan 
of his great lamp, I could not always see to write 

The Lay Preacher. 



LESSON LXXXIX. 

Extract from i A Critical Dissertation on the Poems of 

OssianS — Blair. 

Besides human personages, divine or supernatural agents 
are often introduced into epick poetry ; forming what is 
called the machinery of it ; which most criticks hold to be 
an essential part. The marvellous, it must be admitted, 
has always a great charm for the bulk of readers. It grati- 
fies the imagination, and affords room for striking and sub- 
lime description. No wonder, therefore, that all poets 
should have a strong propensity towards it. 

But I must observe, that nothing is more difficult, than 
to adjust properly the marvellous with the probable. If a 
poet sacrifice probability, and fill his work with extravagant 
supernatural scenes, he spreads over it an appearance of 
romance and childish fiction ; he transports his readers from 
this world, into a fantastick, visionary region ; and loses 
that weight and dignity which should reign in epick poetry. 
No work, from which probability is altogether banished, 
can make a lasting or deep impression. Human actions 
and manners, are always the most interesting objects whicii 
can be presented to a human mind. 

All machinery, therefore, is faulty which withdraws these 
too much from view ; or obscures them under a cloud of 
incredible fictions. Besides being temperately employed, 
machinery ought always to have some foundation in popular 
belief. A poet is by no means at liberty to invent what 
system of the marvellous he pleases: He must avail him- 
self either of the religious faith, or the superstitious credu- 
lity, of the country wherein he lives ; so as to give an air 
of probability to events which are most contrary to the 
common course of nature. 

In these respects, Ossian appears to me to have been 
remarkably happy. He has indeed followed the same 



Lesson 8 ( J.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 205 

course with Homer. For it is perfectly absurd to imagine, 
as some cnticks have done, that Homer's mythology wa« 
invented by him, in consequence of profound reflections on 
the benefit it would yield to poetry. Homer was no such 
~efining genius. He found the traditionary stories on which 
he built his Iliad, mingled with popular legends, concerning 
the intervention of the gods ; and he adopted these, because 
they amused the fancy. 

Ossian, in like manner, found the tales of his country full 
of ghosts and spirits : It is likely he believed them himself; 
ana he introduced them, because they gave his poems that 
solemn and marvellous cast, which suited his genius. This 
was the only machinery he could employ with propriety ; 
because it was the only intervention of supernatural beings^ 
which agreed with the common belief of the country. It 
was happy ; because it did not interfere, in the least, witli 
the prof*#display of human characters and actions; because 
it had Ijess of the incredible, than most other kinds of po- 
eticalWiachinery ; and because it served to diversify the 
scene, and to heighten the subject by an awful grandeur, 
which is the great design of machinery. 

As Ossian's mythology is peculiar to himself, and makes a 
considerable figure in his other poems, as well as in Fingal, 
it may be proper to make some observations on it, indepen- 
dent of its subserviency to epick composition. It turns fox 
the most part on the appearances of departed spirits. 

These, consonantly to the notions of every rude age, are 
represented not as purely immaterial, but as thin airy forms, 
which can be visible or invisible at pleasure ; their voice 
is feeble ; their arm is weak ; but they are endowed with 
knowledge more than human. In a separate state, they 
retain the same dispositions which animated them in this 
life. They ride on the wind ; they bend their airy bows ; 
and pursue deer formed of clouds. The ghosts of departed 
bards continue to sing. The ghosts of departed heroes 
frequent' the fields of their former fame. " They rest to- 
gether in their caves, and talk of mortal men. Their songs 
are of other worlds. Thev come sometimes to the ear of 
rest, and raise their feeble voice." 

All this presen ,s to us much the same set of ideas, con- 
cerning spirits, as we find in the eleventh book of the 
Odyssey, where Ulysses visits the regions of the dead : 
And in the twenty-third book of the Iliad, the ghost of Pa- 
troclus, after appearing to Achilles, vanishes pre' "* *ely like 

18 



206 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 89 

one of Ossian's, emitting a shrill, feeble cry, and melting 
away like smoke. 

But though Homer's and Ossian's ideas concerning 
ghosts were of the same nature, we cannot but observe that 
Ossian's ghosts are drawn with much stionger and livelier 
colours than those of Homer. Ossian describes ghosts with 
all the particularity of one who had seen and conversed 
with them, and whose imagination was full of the impres- 
sion they had left upon it. Crugal's ghost, in particular, 
in the beginning of the second book of Fingal, may vie 
with any appearance of this kind, described by any epick 
or tragick poet whatever. 

Most poets would have contented themselves with telling 
us, that he resembled, in every particular, the living Cru- 
gal ; that his form and dress were the same,, only his face 
more pale and sad ; and that he bore the mark of the 
wound by which he fell. But Ossian sets before our eyes 
a spirit from the invisible world, distinguished by all those 
features, which a strong astonished imagination would give 
to a ghost. " A dark red stream of fire comes down from 
the hill. Crugal sat upon the beam ; he that lately fell by 
the hand of Swaran, striving in the battle of heroes. His 
face is like the beam of the setting moon. His robes are 
of the clouds of the hill. His eyes are like two decaying 
flames. Dark is the wound of his breast. The stars dim- 
twinkled through his form ; and his voice was like the sound 
of a distant stream." 

The circumstance of the stars being beheld, " dim-twink- 
ling through his form," is wonderfully picturesque ; and 
conveys the most lively impression of his thin and shadowy 
substance. The attitude in which lie is afterwards placed, 
and the speech put into his mouth, are full of that solemn 
and awful sublimity, which suits the subject. " Dim, and in 
tears, he stood and stretched his pale hand over the hero. 
Faintly he raised his feeble voice, like the gale of the 
reedy Lego. My ghost, O Connal I is on my native hills ; 
but my corse is on the sands of Uflin. Thou shalt never 
talk with Crugal, or find his lone steps in the heath. I am 
light as the blast of Cromja; and f move like the shadow 
of mist. Connal, son of Collar ! I see the dark cloud of 
death. It hovers over the plains of Lena. The sons of 
green Erin shall fall. Remove from the field of ghosts, 
like the darkened moon he retired in (he midst oi the 



whittling W#st," 



Lesson 90.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 207 

Several oilier appearances of spirits might be pointed 
out as among the most sublime passages of Ossian's poetry. 
The circumstances of them are considerably diversified ; 
and the scenery always suited to the occasion. " Oscar 
slowly ascends the hill. The meteors of night set on the 
heath before him. A distant torrent faintly roars. Unfre- 
qneiit blasts rush through aged oaks. The half-enlightened 
moon sinks dim and red behind her hill. Feeble voices are 
heard on the heath. Oscar drew his sword." 

Nothing can prepare the fancy more happily for the 
awful scene that is to follow. " Trenmor came from his 
hill, at the voice of his mighty son. A cloud, like the steed 
of the stranger, supported his airy limbs. His robe is of the 
mist of Lano, that brings death to the people. His sword 
is a green meteor, half-extinguished. His face is without 
form, and dark. He sighed thrice over the hero : And 
thrice, the winds of the night roared around. Many were 
his words to Oscar. He r l o\v\y vanished, like a mist that 
melts on the sunny hill." 

To appearances of this kind, we can find no parallel 
anions: the Greek or Roman poets. Thev bring to mind 
that noble description in the book of Job : " In thoughts 
from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on 
men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all 
my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face ; 
the hair of my flesh stood up : It stood still, but I could not 
discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eves: 
— There was silence, and I heard a voice— Shall mortal man 
be more just than God ?"* 



LESSON XC. 

The Dungeon. — Lyrical Ballads. 

And this place our forefathers made for man ! 
This is the process of our love and wisdom, 
To each poor brother who offends against us— 
Most innocent, perhaps : — And what if guilty ? 
Is this the onlv cure ? Merciful God ! 
Each pore and natural outlet shrivelled up 
IVy ignorance and parching poverty. 
His energies roll back upon his heart, 

* Job iv. 13—17. 



208 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 1)1, 

And stagnate and corrupt ; till, changed to poison, 

They break out on him like a loathsome plague-spot : 

Then we call in our pampered mountebanks — 

And this is their best cure ! — uncomforted 

And friendless solitude, groaning and tears, 

And savage faces, at the clanking hour 

Seen, through the steams and vapour of his dungeon 

By the lamp's dismal twilight ! — So he lies 

Circled with evil, till his very soul 

Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed 

By fellowship with desperate deformity ! 

With other ministrations thou, O Nature I 
Healest thy wandering and distempered child. 
Thou pourest on him thy soft influences, 
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets, 
Thy melcdies of woods, and winds, and waters, 
Till he relent, and can no more endure 
To be a jarring and discordant thing, 
Amid this general dance and minstrelsy ; 
But, bursting into tears wins back his way ; 
His angry spirit healed and humanized 
By the benignant touch of love and beauty. 



LESSON XCI. 

To the Rosemary. — H. K. White. 

Sweet scented flower ! whcTrt wont to bloom 

On January's front severe, 

And o'er the wintry desert drear 

To waft thy waste perfume ! 

Come, thou shalt form my nosegay now 

And I will bind thee round my brow ; 

And, as I twine the mournful wreath, 

I'll weave a melancholy song, 

And sweet the strain shall be, and long 

The melody of death. 

Come funeral flower ! who lov'st to dwe ; 
With the pale corse in lonely tomb, 
And throw across the desert gloom 
A sweet, decaying smell— 



Lesson 92.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 200 

Come, press my lips and lie with me 
Beneath the lowly alder tree : 
And we will sleep a pleasant sleep, 
And not a care shall dare intrude, 
To break the marble solitude, 
So peaceful and so deep. 

And hark ! the wind-god, as he flies, 

Moans hollow in the forest trees, 

And, sailing on the gusty breeze, 

Mysterious musick dies. 

Sweet flower, that requiem wild is mine ; 

It warns me to the lonely shrine, 

The cold turf altar of the dead ; 

My grave shall be in yon lone spot, 

Where, as I lie by all forgot, 

A dying fragrance thou wilt o'er my ashes shed. 



LESSON XCIL 

A Sabbath in Scotland. — Persecution of the Scottish Covenant 

ers. — Grahams. 

It is not only in the sacred fane, 
That homage should be paid to the Most High : 
There is a temple, one not made with hands — 
The vaulted firmament : far in the woods. 
Almost beyond the sound of city-chime, 
At intervals heard through the breezeless air ; 
When not the limberest leaf is seen to move, 
Save where the linnet lights upon the spray ; 
When not a floweret bends its little stalk, 
Save where the bee alights upon the bloom ; — 
There, rapt in gratitude, in joy, and love, 
The man of God will pass the Sabbath noon ; 
Silence, his praise ; his disembodied thoughts, 
Loosed from ihe load of words, will high ascend 
Beyond the empyrean.- — 

Nor yet less pleasing at the heavenly throne, 
The Sabbath service of the shepherd-boy, 
In some lone glen, where every sound is lulled 
To slumber, save the tinkling of the rill, 
Or bleat of lamb, or hovering falcon's crv, 

18 * 



210 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 92. 

Stretched on the sward, he reads of Jesse's son ; 
Or sheds a tear o'er him to Egypt sold, 
And wonders why he weeps ; the volume closed, 
With thyme-sprig' laid between the leaves, he sings 
The sacred lays, his weekly lesson conned 
With meikle* care beneath the lowly roof, 
Where humble lore is learnt, where humble worth 
Pines unrewarded by a thankless state. 

Thus reading, hymning, all alone, unseen, 
The shepherd-boy the Sabbath holy keeps, 
Till on the heights he marks the straggling bands 
Returning homeward from the house of prayer. 
An peace they home resort. O blissful days ! 
When all men worship God as conscience wills* 
Far other times our fathers' grandsires knew, 
A virtuous race, to godliness devote. 

* * * # # # 

They stood prepared to die, a people doomed 
To death ; — old men, and youths, and simple maids, 
With them each day was holy ; but that morn 
On which the angel said, See ivliere the Lord 
Was laid, joyous arose ; to die that day 
Was bliss. Long ere the dawn, by devious ways, 
O'er hills, through woods, o'er dreary wastes, they sought 
The upland moors, where rivers, there but brooks, 
Dispart to different seas. Fast by such brooks 
A little glen is sometimes scooped, a plat 
With green sward gay, and flowers that stranger seem. 

Amid the heathery wild, that all around 
Fatigues the eye : in solitudes like these 
Thy persecuted children, Scotia, foiled 
A tyrant's and a bigot's bloody laws : 
There, leaning on his spear (one of the array, 
Whose gleam, in former days, had scathed the rose 
On England's banner, and had powerless struck 
The infatuate monarch and his wavering host) 
The lyartf veteran heard the word of God 
By Cameron thundered, or by Renwick poured 
In gentle stream ; then rose the song, the loud 
Acclaim of praise ; the wheeling plover ceased 
Her plaint ; the solitary place was glad : 

* Pron. meekle, — much. f Hoary, 



tizssmM.} FIRST CLASS BOOK. 211 

And on the distant cairns the watcher's ear* 
Caught doubtfully at times the breeze-borne note. 

But years more gloomy followed ; and no more 
The assembled people dared, in face of day, 
To worship God, or even at the dead 
Of night, save when the wintry storm raved fierce, 
And thunder-peals compelled the men of blood 
To couch within their dens ; then dauntlessly 
The scattered few would meet, in some deep dell 
By rocks o'er-canopied, to hear the voice, 
Their faithful pastor's voice : he, by the gleam 
Of sheeted lightning, oped the sacred book, 
And words of comfort spake : over their souls 
His accents soothing came, — as to her young 
The heathfowl's plumes, when, at the close of eve, 
She gathers in, mournful, her brood dispersed 
By murderous sport, and o'er the remnant spreads 
Fondly her wings ; close nestling 'neath her breast, 
They, cherished, cower amid the purple blooms. 



LESSON XCIII. 

The Baptism. — Wilson. 

It is a pleasant and impressive time, when at the close of 
divine service, in some small country church, there takes 
place the gentle stir and preparation for a baptism. A sud- 
den air of cheerfulness spreads over the whole congrega- 
tion ; the more solemn expression of all countenances fades 
away; and it is at once felt, that a rite is about to be per- 
formed, which, although of a sacred and awful kind, is yet 
connected with a thousand delightful associations of purity, 
beauty, and innocence. Then there is an eager bending of 
smiling faces over the humble galleries — an unconscious 
rising up in affectionate curiosity — and a slight murmuring 
sound in which is no violation of the Sabbath sanctity of 
God's house, when in the middle passage of the church the 
party of women i3 seen, matrons and maids, who bear in 
their bosoms, or in their arms, the helpless beings about to 
be made members of the Christian communion. 

* Sentinels were placed on the surrounding hills to give warning of 
tfei> approach of the military. 



212 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 93. 

There sit, all dressed becomingly in white, the fond and 
happy baptismal group. The babes have been intrusted, 
for a precious hour, to the bosoms of young maidens, who 
tenderly fold them to their yearning hearts, and with en- 
dearments taught by nature, are stilling, not always success- 
fully, iheir plaintive cries. Then the proud and delighted 
girls rise up, one after the other, in sight of the whole con- 
gregation, and hold up the infants, arrayed in neat caps and 
long flowing linen, into their fathers' hands. For the poorest 
of the poor, if he has a heart at all, will have his infant 
well dressed on such a day, even although it should scant 
his meal for weeks to come, and force him to spare fuel to 
his winter fire. 

And now the fathers are all standing below the pulpit, 
with grave and thoughtful faces. Each has tenderly taken 
his infant into his toil-hardened hands, and supports it in 
gentle and steadfast affection. They are all the children of 
poverty, and, if they live, are destined to a life of toil. But 
now poverty puts on its most pleasant aspect, for it is be- 
held standing before the altar of religion with contentment 
and faith. 

This is a time, when the better and deeper nature of 
every man must rise up within him ; and when he must 
feel, more especially, that he is a spiritual and an immortal 
being making covenant with God. He is about to take upon 
himself a holy charge ; to promise to look after his child's 
immortal soul ; and to keep its little feet from the paths of 
evil, and in those of innocence and peace. Such a thought 
elevates the lowest mind above itself — diffuses additional 
tenderness over the domestick relations, and makes them, 
who hold up their infants to the baptismal font, better fa- 
thers, husbands, and sons, by the deeper insight which they 
then possess into their nature and their life. 

The minister consecrates the water — and as it falls on 
his infant's face, the father feels the great oath in his soul. 
As the poor helpless creature is wailing in his arms, he 
thinks how needful indeed to human infancy is the love of 
Providence ! And when, after delivering each his child 
into the arms of the smiling maiden from whom he had 
received it, he again takes his place for admonition and 
advice before the pulpit, his mind is well disposed to think 
on the perfect beauty of that religion of whom the Divine 
Founder said, " Suffer little children to be brought unto 
me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven !" 



Lesson <d%.} FIRST CLASS BOOK. 21 

The rite of baptism had not thus been performed for 
several months in the kirk* of Lanark. It was now the hot- 
test time of persecution ; and the inhabitants of that parisfi 
found other places in which to worship God and celebrate 
the ordinances of religion. It was the Sabbath-day, — and 
a small con cremation, of about a hundred souls, had met 
for divine service in a place of worship more magnificent 
than any temple that human hands had ever built to Deity. 
Here, too, were three children about to be baptized. The 
congregation had not assembled to the toll of the bell, — but 
each heart knew the hour and observed it ; for there are a 
hundred sun-dials among the hills, woods, moors, and fields, 
and the shepherd and the peasant see the hours passing by 
them in sunshine and shadow. 

The church in which they were assembled, was hewn, 
bv God's hand, out of the eternal rocks. A river rolled its 
way through a mighty chasm of cliffs, several hundred feet 
high, of which the one side presented enormous masses, and 
the other corresponding recesses, as if the great stone gir- 
dle had been rent bv a convulsion. The channel was over- 
spread with prodigious fragments of rocks or large loose 
stones, some of them smooth and bare, others containing 
soil and verdure in their rents and fissures, and hei\* and 
there crowned with shrubs and trees. The eye could at 
once command a !on£ stretching: vista, seemingly closed and 
shut up at both extremities by the coalescing cliffs. 

This majestick reach of river contained pools, streams. 
rushing shelves, and waterfalls innumerable ; and when the 
water was low, which it now was in the common drought, 
it was easy to walk up this scene with the calm blue sky 
eve v head, an utter and sublime solitude. On looking up, 
the soul was bowed down by the feeling of that prodigious 
height of imseaieable and often overhanging cliff. Between 
the channel and the summit of the far-extended precipices, 
were perpetually flying rooks and wood-pigeons, and now 
and then a hawk, filling the profound abyss with their wild 
cawing, deep murmur, or shrilly shriek. 

Sometimes a heron would stand erect and still on some 
little stone island, or rise up like a white cloud along the 
black walls of the chasm , and disappear. Winged creatures 
alone could inhabit this region. The fox and wild cat chose 
more accessible haunts. Yet here came the persecuted 
Christians, and worshipped God, whose hand hung over 

* Church. 



214 THE AMERICAN [Lesson'tft 

their heads those magnificent pillars and arches, scooped 
out those galleries from the solid rock, and laid at their feet 
the calm water in its transparent beauty, in which they 
could see themselves sitting in reflected groups, with their 
Bibles in their hands. 

Here, upon a semi-circular ledge of rocks, over a narrow 
chasm of which the tiny stream played in a murmuring 
waterfall, and divided the congregation into two equal parts, 
sat about a hundred persons, all devoutly listening to their 
minister, who stood before them on what might well be 
called a small natural pulpit of living stone. Up to it there 
led a short flight of steps, and over it waved the canopy of 
a tall graceful birch tree. This pulpit stood on the middle 
of the channel, directly facing that congregation, and sep- 
arated from them by the clear, deep, sparkling pool into 
which the scarce-heard water poured over the blackened 
rock. 

The water, as it left the pool, separated into two streams, 
and flowed on each side of that altar, thus placing it in an 
island, whose large mossy stones were richly embowered 
under the golden blossoms and <n*een tresses of the broom. 
Divine service was closed, and a row of maidens, all clothed 
in purest wN*e, came gliding off from the congregation, 
and crossing the stream on some stepping stones, arranged 
themselves at the foot of the pulpit, with the infants about 
to be baptized. The fathers of the infants, just as if they 
had been in their own kirk, had been sitting there during 
worship, and now stood up before the minister. 

The baptismal water, taken from that pellucid pool, was 
lying consecrated in a small hollow of one of the upright 
stones that formed one side or pillar of the pulpit, and the 
holy rite proceeded. Some of the younger ones in that 
semi-circle kept gazing down into the pool, in which the 
whole scene was reflected, and now and then, in spite of 
the grave looks, or admonishing whispers of their elders, 
letting a pebble fall into the water, that they might judge 
of its depth from the length of time that elapsed before the 
clear air-bells lay sparkling on the agitated surface. 

The rite was over, and the religious service of the day 
closed by a Psalm. The mighty rocks hemmed in the holy 
sound, and sent it, in a more compacted volume, clear, 
sAveet, and strong, up to heaven. When the Psalm ceased, 
an echo, like a spirit's voice, was heard dying away high 
up among the magnificent architecture of the cliffs, and 



Lesson 93.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 215 

once more might be noticed in the silence the reviving voice 
of the waterfall. 

Just then a large stone fell from the top of the cliff into 
the pool, a loud voice was heard, and a plaid* hung over on 
the point of a shepherd's staff. Their watchful sentinel 
had descried danger, and this was his warning. Forthwith 
the congregation rose. There were paths dangerous to un- 
practised fe^t, along the ledges of the rocks, leading up to 
several caves and places of concealment. The more active 
and young assisted the elder — more especially the old pas- 
tor, and the women with the infants; and many minutes 
had not elapsed, till not a living creature was visible in the 
channel of the stream, but all of them hidden, or nearly so. 
in the clefts and caverns. 

The shepherd who had given the alarm had lain down 
again in his plaid instantly on the green swardf upon the 
summit of these precipices. A party of soldiers were im- 
mediately upon him, and demanded what signals he had 
been making, and to whom ; when one of them, looking 
over the edge of the cliff, exclaimed, " See, see I Hum- 
phrey, we have caught the whole tabernacle of the Lord in 
a net at last. There they are, praising God among the 
stones of the river Mouss. These are the Cartland Craigs. 
By my soul's salvation, a noble cathedral!" "Fling the 
lying sentinel over the cliffs. Here is a canting covenanter 
for you, deceiving honest soldiers on the very Sabbath-day. 
Over with him, over with him — out of the gallery into the 
pit. 

.But the shepherd had vanished like a shadow ; and mix- 
ing with the tall green broom and bushes, was making his 
unseen way towards a wood. " Satan has saved his servant ; 
but come, my lads — follow me — 1 know the way down into 
the bed of the stream — and the steps up to Wallace's Cave. 
They are called the ' Kittle Nine Stanes.' The hunt's 
up. We'll be all in at the death. Halioo — my boys — 
halloo !" 

The soldiers dashed down a less precipitous part of the 
wooded banks, a little below the " craigs," and hurried up 
the channel. But when they reached the altar where the 
old gray-haired! minister had been seen standing, and the 
rocks that had been covered with people, all was silent and 
solitary — not a creature to be seen. " Here is a Bible dropt 



* i>. 



ronounced plad. t Sward, a perfect rhyme to ward< 



2IG THE AMERICAN [Lesson 9? 

by some of them," cried a soldier, and, with his foot, spun 
it away into the pool. " A bonnet — a bonnet, " — cried anoth- 
er — " now for the pretty sanctified face that rolled its de- 
mure eyes below it." 

But, after, a few jests and oaths, the soldiers stood still, 
eyeing with a kind of mysterious dread the black and silent 
walls of the rock that hemmed them in, and hearing only 
the small voice of the stream that sent a profounder stillness 
through the heart of that majestick solitude. " Curse these 
cowardly covenanters- — what, if they tumble down upon our 
heads pieces of rock from their hiding-places 1 Advance ? 
Or retreat ?" 

There was no reply. For a slight fear was upon every 
man ; musket or bayonet could be of little use to men obliged 
to clamber up rocks, along slender paths, leading, they 
knew not where ; and they were aware that armed men, 
now-a-days, worshipped God, — men of iron hearts, who 
feared not the glitter of the soldier's arms — neither barrel 
nor bayonet — men of long stride, firm step, and broad breast, 
who, on the open field, would have overthrown the mar- 
shalled line, and gone first and foremost, if a city had to be 
taken by storm. 

As the soldiers were standing together irresolute, a noise 
came upon their ears like distant thunder, but even more 
appalling ; and a slight current of air, as if propelled by it, 
passed whispering along the sweet-briers, and the broom, 
and the tresses of the birch trees. It came deepening, and 
rolling, and roaring on, and the very Cartland Craigs shook 
to their foundation as if in an earthquake. " The Lord 
have mercy upon us— what is this ?" And down fell many 
of the miserable wretches on their knees, and some on their 
faces, upon the sharp-pointed rocks. Now, it was like the 
sound of many myriads of chariots rolling on their iron 
axles down the stony channel of the torrent. 

The old grav-h aired minister issued from the mouth of 
Wallace's Cave, and said, with a loud voice, " The Lord 
God terrible reigneth." A water-spout had burst up among 
the moorlands, and the river, in its power, was at hand. 
There it came — tumbling along- into that ion<r reach of cliffs, 
and in a moment filled it with one mass of waves. Huge, 
agitated clouds of foam rode on the surface of a blood-red 
torrent. An army must have been swept off by teat flood. 
The soldiers perished in a moment — but high up in the 
cliffs, above the sweep of destruction, were the covenanters 



fcssonM,] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 21? 

r-men, women, and children, uttering prayers to God, un 
Jieard by themselves, in that raging thunder. 



-*©»-—- 



LESSON XCIV. 

Romantick Story.— -Quarterly Review. 

There is a cavern in the island of Hoonga, one of the 
Tonga islands, in the South Pacifick Ocean, which can only 
be entered by diving into the sea, and has no other light 
than what is reflected from the bottom of the water, 
young chief discovered it accidentally while diving after a 
turtle, and the use which he made of his discovery will prob- 
ably be sung in more than one European language, so beau- 
tifully is it adapted for a tale in verse. 

There was a tyrannical governour at Vavaoo, against 
whom one of the chiefs formed a plan of insurrection ; it 
was betrayed, and the chief, with all his family and kin, was 
ordered to be destroyed. He had a beautiful daughter, be- 
frothed to a chief of InVh rank, and she also was included 
in the sentence. The youth who had found the cavern. 
and had kept the secret to himself, loved this damsel ; he 
told her the danger in time, and persuaded her to trust 
herself to him. They got into a canoe ; the place of her 
retreat was described to her on the way to it,- — these wo- 
men swim like mermaids, — she dived after him, and rose in 
the cavern ; in the widest "oart it is about fifty feet, and its 
medium height is guessed at the same, the roof hung with 
stalactites. 

Here he brought her the choicest food, the finest cloth- 
ing, mats for her bed, and sandal-wood oil to perfume her- 
self; here he visited her as often as was consistent with 
prudence ; and here, as may be imagined, this Tonga Lean- 
der wooed and won the maid, whom, to make the interest 
.complete, he had long loved in secret, when he had no hope. 
- — Meantime lie prepared, with all his dependants, male and 
femaie, to emigrate in secret to the Fiji* islands. 

Tne intention was so well concealed, that they embarked 
in safety, and his people asked him, at the point of their de- 
parture, if he would not take with him a Tonga wife : and 
accordingly, to their great astonishment, having steered close 
to a rock, he desired them to wait while he went into the 

* Pronounced Fejec, 



218. THE AMERICAN [Lesson 05. 



c 



sea to fetch her, jumped overboard, and just as they wei 
beginning to be seriously alarmed at Ins long disappearance, 
he rose with his mistress from the water. This story is not 
deficient in that which all such stories should have to be 
perfectly delightful, — a fortunate conclusion. The party 
remained at the Fijis till the oppressor died, and then re- 
turned to Yavaoo, where they enjoyed a long and happy life, 
This is related as an authentick tradition. 



LESSON XCV. 

Anecdotes of Mozart. — Scrap Book. 

The most celebrated of Mozart's Italian oneras is Don 
Juan, of which the overture was composed under very re ■ 
markable circumstances. Mozart was much addicted to 
trifling amusement, and was accustomed to indulge himself 
ra that too common attendant upon superiour talent, procras- 
tination. The general rehearsal of this opera had taken 
place, and the evening before the first performance had ar- 
rived, but not a note of the overture was written. 

At about eleven at night, Mozart came home, and desired 
his wife to make him some punch, and to stay with him to 
keep him awake. Accordingly, when he began to write, she 
began to tell him fairy tales and odd stories, which made 
him laugh, and by the very exertion preserved him from 
sleep. The punch, however, made him so drowsy, that he 
could only write while his wife was talking, and dropped 
asleep as soon as slie ceased. 

He was at last so fatigued bv these unnatural efforts, that 
he persuaded his wife to suffer him to sleep for an hour. 
Ke slept, however, for two hours, and at five o'clock in the 
morning, she awakened him. He had appointed his musick 
comers to come at seven, and when thev arrived, the over- 
ture was finished. It was played without a rehearsal, and 
was justly applauded as a brilliant and. grand Composition- 
We ought at the same time to say, that some very sagacious 
criticks have discovered the passages, in the composition 
where Mozart dropt asleep, and those where he was sud- 
denly awakened. 

The bodily frame of Mozart was tender and exquisitely 
sensible ; ill health soon overtook him, and brought with it 
a melancholy, approaching to desnondenev A very short 



Lesson 95.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 219 

time before his death, which took place when he was only 
thirty-six, lie composed that celebrated requiem, which, by 
an extraordinary presentiment of his approaching dissolu- 
tion, he considered as written for his own funeral. 

One day, when he was plunged in a profound reverie, he 
heard a carriage stop at his door. A stranger was announced, 
who requested to speak with him. A person was intro- 
duced, handsomely dressed, of dignified and impressive 
manners. " 1 have been commissioned, Sir, by a man of 
considerable importance, to call upon you."—" Who is he V 
interrupted Mozart, " He does not wish to be known." — 
" Well, what does he want '?"— " He has just lost a person 
whom he tenderly loved, and whose memory will be eter- 
nally dear to him. He is desirous of annually c.ommemo- 
rating this mournful event by a solemn service, for which 
he requests you to compose a requiem.' 1 

ozart was forcibly struck by this discourse, by the grave 
manner in which it was uttered, and by the air of mystery 
in which the whole was involved. He engaged to write t!:e 
requiem. The stranger continued, "Employ all your genius 
on this work; it is destined for a connoisseur." — " So much 
the better." — " What time do you require V — "A month." — 
" Very well ; in a month's time I shall return — what price 
do you set on your work ?" — " A hundred ducats." — The 
stranger counted them on the table, and disappeared. 

Mozart remained lost in thought for some time : he then 
suddenly called for pen, ink, and paper, and, in spite of 
his wife's entreaties, began to write. This rage for compo- 
sition continued several days ; he wrote day and night, with 
an ardour which seemed continually to increase ; but his 
constitution, already in a state of great debility, was unable 
to support this enthusiasm ; one morning he fell senseless, 
and was obliged to suspend his work. Two or three days 
after, when his wife sought to divert his mind from the 
gloomy presages which occupied it, he said to her abruptly, 
" It is certain that I am writing this requiem for myself; it 
will serve for my funeral service." Nothing could remove 
this impression from his mind. 

As he went on, he felt his strength diminish from day to 
day, and the score advancing slowly. The month which he 
had fixed being expired, the stranger again made his ap- 
pearance. " I have found it impossible," said Mozart, " to 
keep my word.' 1 " Do not give yourself any uneasiness, '' 
replied the stranger ; " what farther time do you require ?" 



%w 



20 THE AMERICAN [Less* OG 

— " Another month: the work has interested me more than 1 
expected, and I have extended it much beyond what I at first 
designed."—" In that ease, it is bet just to increase the pre- 
mium ; here are fifty ducats more."— " Sir," said Mozart, 
with increasing astonishment, " who then are you ?" — " That 
is nothing to the purpose ; in a month's time J shall return." 

Mozart immediately called one of his servants, and or- 
dered him to follow this extraordinary personage, and find 
out who he was ; but the man failed from want of skill, and 
returned without being; able to trace him* 

Poor Mozart was then persuaded that he was no ordinary 
being; that he had a connexion with the other world, and 
was sent to announce to him his approaching end.— He ap- 
plied himself with the more ardour to his requiem, which 
he regarded as the most durable monument of his iretaius* 
While thus employed, he was seized with the most alarming 
fainting fits, but the work was at length completed before 
the expiration of the month. At the time appointed, the 
stranger returned, but Mozart was no more. 

His career was as brilliant as it was short. He died be-* 
fore he had completed his thirty-sixth year; but in this short 
space of time he had acquired a name which will neve? 
perish, so long as feeling hearts are to be found* 



LESSON XCVL 

Death and burial of a child at sect.— Scrap Book* 

My boy refused his food, forgot to play, 
And sickened on the waters, day by day ; 
He smiled more seldom on his mother's smile, 
He prattled less, in accents void of guile, 
Of that wild land, beyond the golden wave, 
Where I, not he, was doomed to be a slave ; 
Cold o'er his limbs the listless languor grew 5 
Paleness came o'er his eye of placid blue ; 
Pale mourned the lily where the rose had died, 
And timid, trembling, came he to my side. 
He was my all on earth* Oh ! who can speak 
The anxious mother's too prophetick wo, 
Who sees death feeding on her dear child's cheek* 
And strives in vain to think it is not so 1 



Lesson 96.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 221 

All ! many a sad and sleepless night I passed, 
O'er his couch, listening in the pausing blast, 
While on his brow, more sad from hour to hour, 
Drooped wan dejection, like a fading flower ! 

At length my boy seemed better, and I slept — 
Oh, soundly ! — but, methought, my mother wept 
O'er her poor Emma ; and, in accents low, 
Said, " Ah ! why do I weep — and weep in vain 
For one so loved, so lost ? Emma, thy pain 
Draws to a close ! Even now is rent in twain 
The loveliest link that binds thy breast to wo — 
Soon, broken heart, we soon shall meet again !" 
Then o'er my face her freezing hand she crossed, 
And bending kissed me with her lip of frost. 
I waked ; and at my side-— oh ! still and cold !— 
Oh ! what a tale that dreadful chilness told ! 
Shrieking, I started up, in terrour wild ; 
Alas ! and had I lived to dread my child ? 
Eager I snatched him from his swinging bed ; 
His limbs were stiff — he moved not — he was dead ! 

Oh ! let me weep ! — what mother would not weep, 
To see her child committed to the deep 1 

No mournful flowers, by weeping fondness laid, 
Nor pink, nor rose, drooped, on his breast displayed, 
Nor half-biown daisy, in his little hand :— 
Wide was the field around, but 'twas not land. 
Enamoured death, with sweetly pensive grace, 
Was awful beauty to his silent face. 
No more his sad eye looked me into tears ! 
Closed was that eve beneath his pale, cold brow ; 
And on his calm lips, which had lost their glow, 
But which, though pale, seemed half unclosed to speak, 
Loitered a smile, like moonlight on the snow. 

I gazed upon him still — not wild with fears — 
Gone were my fears, and present was despair ! 
But, as I gazed, a little lock of hair, 
Stirred by the breeze, played, trembling on his cheek; 
Oh, God ! mv heart ! — I thought life still was there. 
i j ut, to commit him to the watery grave, 
O'er which the winds, unwearied mourners, rave — 
One, who strove darkly sorrow's sob to stay, 
Upraised the body; thrice I bade him stay:. 
For still my wordless wo had much to say, 
And still I bent and gazed, and gazing wept. 



222 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 9?, 

At last my sisters, with humane constraint. 
Held me, and I was calm as dying saint ; 
While that stern weeper lowered into the sea 
My ill-starred boy ! deep-— buried deep, he slept* 
And then I looked to heaven in agony, 
And prayed to end my pilgrimage of pain, 
That I might meet my beauteous boy again ! 
Oh ! had he liyed to reach this wretched land, 
And then expired, I would have blessed the strand. 
But where my poor boy lies I may not lie ; 
I cannot come, with broken heart, to sigh 
O'er his loved dust, and strew with flowers his turf; 
His pillow hath no cover but the surf; 
I may not pour the soul-drop from mine eye 
Near his cold bed : he slumbers in the wave ! 
Oh ! I will love the sea, because it is his grave ! 



LESSON XCV1L 
Vharactcr of Mr, James Watt* 






sAth is still busy in our high places : — and it is with 
rent pain that we "find ourselves called upon, so soon after 
the loss of Mr. Pla /fair, to record the decease of another of 
our illustrious countrymen,- — and one to whom mankind 
lias been still more largely indebted. Mr. James Watt, the 
great improver of the steam-engine, died on the 25th of 
April, at his seat of Heathneid, near Birmingham, in the 
84th year of his ag ?. 

This name fortunately needs no commemoration of ours; 
for he that bore it survived to see it crowned with undis- 
puted and unenviecl honours ; and many generations Will 
probably pass away before it shall " have gathered all its 
fame/'' We have said that Mr, Watt was the orreat im* 
provef of the steam-engine ; but, in truth, as to all that is 
admirable in its structure, or vast in its utility, he should 
rather be described as its inventor. It was by his inven- 
tions that its action was regulated so as to make it capable 
of being applied to the finest and most delicate manufac- 

* The above beautiful tribute to the memory of the great inventor of 
the steam-engine is abridged by Mc. Diarmid from an article which 
appeared \r the " Scotsman" newspaper, — and which was ascribed to 
Francis Jeffrey, Esq-.-=- 



Lesson 9?.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 223 

tares, and its power so increased as to set weight and solid- 
ity at defiance. 

By his admirable contrivances, and those of a kindred and 
lamented genius in America,* it has become a thing stupen- 
dous alike for its force and its flexibility ^ — for the prodigious 
power which it can exert, and the ease and precision and 
ductility with which it can be varied, distributed, and ap- 
plied. The trunk of an elephant that can pick up a pin or 
rend an oak is as nothing to it. It can engrave a seal, and 
crush masses of obdurate metal before it,— draw out, without 
breaking, a thread as fine as gossamer, and lift up a ship of 
War like a bauble in "the air. It can embroider muslin and 
for of e anchors, — *cut steel into ribands, and impel loaded 
vessels against the fury of the winds and waves. 

It would be difficult to estimate the value of the benefits 
which these inventions have conferred upon the country.— 
There is no branch of industry that has not been indebted 
to them ; and in all the most material, they have not only 
widened most magnificently the field of its exertions, but 
multiplied a thousand fold the amount of its productions. 
It is our improved steam-engine that has fought the battles 
of Europe, and exalted and sustained, through the late tre- 
mendous contest, the political greatness of our land. It is 
the same great power which enables us to pay the interest 
of our debt, and to maintain the arduous struggle in which 
we are still engaged, with the skill and capital of countries 
less oppressed with taxation. 

But these are poor and narrow views of its importance, 
It lias increased indefinitely the mass of human comforts and 
enjoyments, and rendered cheap and accessible all over the 
world the materials of wealth and prosperity. It has armed 
the feeble hand of man, in short, with a power to which no 
limits can be assigned ; completed the dominion of mind 
over the most refractory qualities of matter ; and laid a sure 
foundation for all those future miracles of mechanick power 
which are to aid and reward the labours of after generations. 
It is to the genius of one man, too, that all this is mainly 
owing : and certainly no man ever before bestowed such a 
gift on his kind. The blessing is not only universal, but un- 
bounded ; and the fabled inventors of the nlouch and the 
loom, who are deified by the erring gratitude of their rude 
contemporaries, conferred less important benefits on man* 
id than the inventor of our present steam-engine. 

• Robert Fulton. Esq, 



324 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 07. 

This Avili be the fame of Watt with future generations ; 
and it is sufficient for his race and his country. But to 
those to whom he more immediately belonged, who lived in 
his society and enjoyed his conversation, it is not, perhaps, 
the character in which he will be most frequently recalled 
*— most deeply lamented— or even most highly admired. — 
Independently of his great train of attainments in the me- 
chanicks, Mr. Watt was an extraordinary, and in many 
respects a wonderful man. Perhaps no individual in his 
age possessed so much and such varied and exact informa- 
tion — had read so much, or remembered what he had read 
so accurately and well. 

He had infinite quickness of apprehension, a prodigious 
memory, and a certain rectifying and methodizing power of 
understanding, which extracted something precious out of 
ail that was presented to iL His stores of miscellaneous 
knowledge were immense— and yet less astonishing than 
the command which he had at all times over them. It 
seemed as if every subject that was casually started in con* 
Versation with him, had been that which he had been last 
occupied in studying and exhausting ; such was the copious- 
ness, the precision, and the admirable clearness of the in- 
formation which he poured out upon it without effort or hes- 
itation. 

Nor was this promptitude and compass of knowledge 
confined in any decree to the studies connected with his or- 
dinary pursuits. That he should have been minutely and 
extensively skilled in chemistry and the arts, and in most of 
the branches of physical science, might perhaps have been 
conjectured ; but it could not have been inferred from his 
usual occupations, and probably is not generally known, 
that he was curiously learned in many branches of antiqui- 
ty, metaphysicks, medicine, and etymology, and perfectly 
at home in edl the details of architecture, musick, and law. 
He was well acquainted* too, with most of the modern lan- 
guages—and familiar with their most recent literature. Nor 
Was it at all extraordinary to hear the great mechanician and 
engineer detailing and expounding, for hours together, the 
metaphysical theories of the German logicians, or criticising 
the measures or the matter of German poetry. 

In his temper and dispositions he was not only kind and 
affectionate, but generous and considerate of the feelings of 
ail around him, and gave the most liberal assistance and 
fencoUragemer/t to all young persons who showed any indi- 



Lesson 98.] FIRST CLASS BOOK, 2*25 

cations of talent, or applied to him for patronage or advice* 
——His health, which was delicate from his youtn upwards, 
seemed to become firmer as he. advanced in years* His 
friends in Edinburgh never saw him more full of intellectu- 
al vigour and colloquial animation — never more delightful 
or more instructive — -than in. his last visit to Scotland, in 
autumn 1817. Indeed, it was after that time that he applied 
himself, with all the ardour of early life, to the invention 
of a machine for mechanically copying' all sorts of sculpture 
and statuary, — and distributed among his friends some of 
its earliest performances, as the productions of a young ar- 
tist just entering on his 83d year. 

This happy and useful life came at last to a gentle close* 
—He expressed his sincere gratitude to Providence for the 
length of days with which he had been blessed, and his ex- 
eruption from most of the infirmities of age, as well as for 
the calm and cheerful evening of life that he had been per- 
mitted to enjoy, after the honourable labours of the day had 
been concluded* And thus, full of years and honours, in 
all calmness and tranquillity, he yielded up his soul, without 
a pang or struggle, — and passed from the bosom of his 
family to that of his God ! 



LESSON XCVIIL 
Death and Character of Howard, — Clarke. 

It had almost been his daily custom, at a certain hour to 
visit Admiral Priestman, bat, failing of his usual call, th© 
Admiral went to know the cause, and found him sitting 1 be- 
fore a stove in his bed-room. Having inquired after his 
health, Mr. Howard replied, that his end was fast approach- 
ing, that he had several things to say to his friend, and 
thanked him for calling. 

The Admiral endeavoured to turn the conversation, ima- 
gining the whole might be merely the result of low spirits ; 
but Mr. Howard soon assured him it was otherwise, ana 
added, " Priestman, you style this a very dull conversation, 
and endeavour to divert my mind from dwelling on death ; 
but I entertain very different sentiments. Death has note?*-* 
r ours for me : it is an event I have always looked to with cheer* 
fulness, if not with pleasure ; and be assured, that it is to me 
U more grateful subject than any other" 



220 THE AMERICAN [Lesson di. 

He then spoke of his funeral, and cheerfully gave direc- 
tions concerning the manner of his interment. 6i There is 
a spot," said he, " near the village of Dauphigny, which 
would suit me nicely ; you know it well, for I have often 
said I should like to be buried there ; and let me beg of 
you, as you value your old friend, not to suffer any pomp to 
be used at my burial ; nor any monument, nor monumental 
inscription whatsoever to mark where I am laid ; deposite 
me quietly in the earth, place a sun-dial over my grave, and 
let me be forgotten." 

A letter at this time arriving from England, containing 
pleasing information of his son, it was read aloud by his 
servant ; npon the conclusion of which, Mr. Howard, turn- 
ing his L°ad, said, " Is not this comfort for a dying father 1" 
He then made the Admiral promise to read the service of 
the Church of England over his grave, and that he should 
be buried in all respects according to the forms of his own 
country* 

Having succeeded in his application, the countenance of 
Mr. Howard brightened, a gleam of evident satisfaction came 
over his face, and he prepared to go to bed. He then made 
his will ; shortly after which, symptoms of delirium appeared. 

After this he ceased to speak. A physician vvas called in, 
Who prescribed the musk draught. It was administered bv 

1 O J 

Admiral Mordvinof, who prevailed on Mr. Howard to swal- 
low a little ; but he refused the rest, evincing great disap- 
probation. A rattling in the throat ensued, and he shortly 
after breathed his last. 

" I Cannot name this gentleman," says Mr. Burke, "with- 
out remarking that his labours and writings have done much 
to open the eyes and hearts of mankind. He visited all Eu- 
rope, not to survey the sumptuousness of palaces, or the state- 
liness of temples ; not to make accurate measurements of the 
remains of ancient grandeur ; not to form a scale of the cu- 
riosities of modern art ; not to collect medals or collate man- 
uscripts, but to dive into the depth of dungeons ; to plunge 
into the infection of hospitals ; to survey the mansions of 
sorrow and pain ; to take the gauge and dimensions of mis- 
ery, depression, and contempt ; to remember the forgotten, 
to attend to the neglected, to visit the forsaken, and to com- 
pare and collate the distresses of all men in all countries. His 
plan was original, and it was as full of genius as it was of 
humanity. It was a voyage of discovery ; a circumnaviga- 
tion of charity. The benefit of his labour is felt more or 



Lesson 99.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 23? 

less in every country ; and at his final reward, he will re» 
eeive, not by retail, but in gross, the reward of those who 
visit the prisoner " 



LESSON XCIX, 

TJie Sultan and Mr, Haswell,* 

Suit. Englishman, you were invited hither to receive 
pnbiick thanks for our troops restored to health by your 
prescriptions. Ask a reward adequate to your services. 

Ilasw, Sultan, the reward I ask, is, leave to preserve 
more of your people still. 

SuM. How more ? my subjects are in health ; no conta- 
gion visits them. 

Ilasw. The prisoner is your subject. There, misery, 
more contagious than disease, preys on the lives of hun- 
dreds : sentenced but to confinement, their doom is death. 
Immured in damp and dreary vaults, they daily perish ; and 
who can tell but that, among the many hapless sufferers, 
there may be hearts bent down with penitence, to heaven 
and you, for every slight offence — there may be some, 
arnons" the wretched multitude, even innocent victims. Let 
me seek them out — let me save them and you. 

Stilt. Amazement ! retract your application : curb this 

ak pity; and accept our thanks. 

Ilasw, Restrain my pity ; — -and what can I receive in 
recompense for that soft bond which links me to the wretch- 
ek and, while it sooths their sorrow, repays me more 
than all the gifts an empire can bestow ! — But, if it be a 
-virtue repugnant to your plan of government, I apply not 
in the name of Pity, but of Justice, 

Suit Justice ! 

Ilasw, The justice that forbids all, but the worst of 
criminals, to be denied that wholesome air the very brute 
it ion freely takes. 



4,- i 



In the year 1786, says Mrs. Inchbald, (the authoress of the play 
from which the above interesting extract is selected,) Howard, under 
the name of Hasweil, was on his philauthropiek travels through Eu- 
rope and parts of Asia, to mitigate the sufferings of the prisoners. He 
fell a sacrifice to his humanity; for visiting a sick person at Cherson, 
who had a na-aii&nant fever, he .caught the infection, and died January 
£0-. ] 7!-)(), aged 70. A statue is erected to his memory in St, Pau'-'s 
■Cathedrah with a suitable inscription. 



228 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 100. 

Suit. Consider for whom you plead — for men (if no«. 
base culprits) so misled, so depraved, they are dano-erou^ 
to our state, and deserve none of its blessings. 

Hasw. If not upon the undeserving — if not upon the 
wretched wanderer from the paths of rectitude— where 
shall the sun diffuse his light, or the clouds distil their dew ? 
Where shall spring breathe fragrance, or autumn pour its 
plenty 1 

Suit. Sir, your sentiments, still more your character, 
excite my curiosity. They tell me, that in our camps you 
visited each sick man's bed ; administered yourself the head- 
ing draught ; encouraged our savages with the hope of life, 
or pointed out their better hope in death.— The widow 
speaks your charities, the orphan lisps your bounties, and the 
rough Indian melts in tears to bless yGu.—l wish to ask why 
you have done all this 1 — what is it that prompts you thus 
■to befriend the miserable and forlorn 1 

Hasw. It is in vain to explain :— the time it would take 
to reveal to you- — — 

Suit. Satisfy my curiosity in writing then. 

Hasw. Nay, if you will read, I'll send a book in which 
is already written why I act thus. 

'Suit, What book ? what is it called ? 

Haste. ■" The Christian Doctrine." There you will find 
all I have done was but my duty. 

Suit. Your words recal reflections that distract me ; nor 
can I bear the pressure on my mind, without confessing-^- 
I am a Christian ! 



?s*\ 



LESSON C, 
lie monicd man.—N%w Monthly Magazine, 



Old Jacob Stock ! The chimes of the clock were not 
more punctual in proclaiming the progress of time, than in 
marking the regularity of his visits at the temples of Fliitus 
in Threadneedle-street, and Bartholomew-lane. His devo- 
tion to them w r as exemplary. In vain trie wind and the 
rain, the hail and the sleet, battled against his rugged front. 
Not the slippery ice, nor the thick-falling snow, nor the 
whole artillery of elementary warfare, could check the 
plodding perseverance of the man of the world, or tempt 



Lesson 100,3 FIRST CLASS BOOK, 229 

him to lose the chance which the morning, however unpro- 
pitious it seemed, in its external aspect, might yield him of 
profiting by the turn of a fraction. 

He was a stout-built, round-shouldered, squab-looking 
man, of a bearish aspect. His features were hard, and his 
heart was harder. You could read the interest-table in the 
wrinkles of his brow, trace the rise and fall of stocks by 
the look of his countenance ; while avarice, selfishness^ mid 
money-getting, glared from his gray, glassy eye. Nature 
had poured no balm into his breast ; nor was his " gross and 
earthly mould 5 ' susceptible of pity. A single look of his 
would daunt the most importunate petitioner that ever at- 
tempted to extract hard coin by the soft rhetorick of a 
heart-imving tale. 

The wife of one whom he had krio wn in better days, 
pleaded before him for her sick husband, and famishing in- 
fants* Jacob, on occasions like these, was a man of few 
words. He was as chary of them as of his money, and he 
let her come to the end of her tale without interruption. 
She paused for a reply ; but he gave none. " Indeed, he is 
very ill, Sir."— r-" Can't help it*" — "We are very distressed." 
a — " Can't help it." — "Our poor children, too- — — — >"— 
•" Can't help that neither." 

The petitioner's eye looked a mournful reproach, which 
would have interpreted itself to any other heart but his, 
•"Indeed, you can ;' ! but she was silent. Jacob felt more 
awkwardly than he had ever done in his life. His hand in- 
voluntarily scrambled about his breeches' pocket. There 
was something like the weakness of human nature stirring 
within him. Some coin had unconsciously worked its way 
into his hand-— his fingers insensibly closed ; but, the effort 
to draw them forth, and the "impossibility of effecting it 
without unclosing them, roused the dormant selfishness of 
his nature, and restored his self-possession. 

" He has been very extravagant."— " Ah, Sir, he has 
been very unfortunate, not extravagant." — " Unfortunate !— 
All ! it's the same tiling. Little odds, I fancy. For my part, 
I wonder how folks can be unfortunate, /was never un- 
fortunate. Nobody need be unfortunate, if they look after 
the main chance, /always looked after the main chance." 
—"He has had a large family to maintain." — " Ah ! married 
foolishly ; no offence to you, ma'am. But when p&or folks 
marry poor folks, what are they to look for ? you know. 
Besides, he was so foolishly fond of assisting others. If a 

20 



230 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 10: 



a 



friend was sick, or in gaol, out came his. purse, and the 
his creditors might go whistle. Now if he had married ; 
woman with money, you know, why then " 

The supplicant turned pale, and would have fainted. 
Jacob was alarmed ; not that he sympathized, but a wo- 
man's fainting was a scene that he had not been used to ; 
besides there was an awkwardness about it ; for Jacob v 
a bachelor. 

Sixty summers had passed over his head without impart- 
ing a ray of warmth to his heart ; without exciting one ten- 
der feeling for the sex, deprived of whose cheering pres- 
ence, the paradise of the world were a wilderness of weeds, 
-—So he desperately extracted a crown piece from the depth 
profound, and thrust it hastily into her hand. The action 
recalled her wandering senses. She blushed : — it was the 
honest blush of pride at the meanness of the gift, 
curt'sied ; staggered towards the door ; opened it ; closed it ; 
raised her hand to her forehead, and burst into tears. * 



LESSON CI. 
The Highlander. — W. Gillespie. 

Many years ago, a poor Highland soldier, on his return to his native 
hills, fatigued, as it was supposed, by the length of the march and 
the heat of the weather, sat down under the shade of a birch-tree, on 
the solitary road of Lowrin, that winds along the margin of Loch 
Ken, in Galloway. Here he was found dead, and this incident 
forms the subject of the following verses. 

From the climes of the sun,, all war-worn and weary, 
The Highlander sped to his youthful abode ; 

Fair visions of home cheered the desert so dreary ; 

Though fierce was the noon-beam and steep was the road. 

Till spent with the march that still lengthened before him, 
He stopped by the way in a sylvan retreat ; 

The light, shady boughs of the birch-tree waved o'er him, 
And the stream of the mountain fell soft at his feet. 

He sunk to repose where the red heaths are blended, 
One dream of his childhood his fancy past o'er ; 

But his battles are fought, and his march it is ended ; 

The sound of the bagpipe shall wake him no more- 



Lesson 102.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 231 

No arm in the day of the conflict could wound him, 
Though war lanched her thunder in fury to kill ; 

Nov the angel of death in the desert has found him, 
Now stretched him in peace by the stream of the hill. 

Pale Autumn spreads o'er him the leaves of the forest, 
The fays of the wild chant the dirge of his rest ; 

And thou, little brook, still the sleeper deplorest, 

And moistenest the heath-bell that weeps on his breast 






LESSON CXI. 
The Harvest 3Ioon.—W. Millar. 

» 

All hail ! f thou lonely queen of night. 

Bright empress of the starry sky ! 
The meekness of thy silvery light 

Beams gladness on the gazer's eye, 
While from thy peerless throne on high 

Thou shinest bright as cloudless noon, 
And bidd'st the shades of darkness fly 

Before thy glory — Harvest moon ! 

In the deep stillness of the night, 

When weary labour is at rest, 
How lovely is the scene ! — how bright 

The wood — the lawn — the mountain's breast, 
When thou, fair Moon of Harvest ! hast 

Thy radiant glory all unfurled, 
And sweetly smilest in the west, 

Far down upon the silent world. % 

Dispel the clouds, majestick orb ! 

That round the dim horizon brood, 
And hush the winds that would disturb 

The deep, the awful solitude, 
That rests upon the slumbering flood, 

The dewy fields, and silent grove, 
When midnight hath thy zenith viewed, 

And felt the kindness of thy love. 

Lo ! scattered wide beneath thv throne 
The hope of millions richly spread, 

That seems to court thv radiance down 
To rest upon its dewy bed : 



'M THE AMERICAN [Lesson 103. 

O ! let thy cloudless glory shed 

Its welcome brilliance from on highj 

Till hope be realized — and fled 
The omens of a frowning sky. 

Shine on, fair orb of light ! and smile 

Till autumn months have passed away* 
And Labour hath forgot the toil 

He bore in summer's sultry ray ; 
And when the reapers end the day, 

Tired with the burning heat of noon. 
They'll come with spirits light and gay, 

And bless thee — lovely Harvest Moon ( 



LESSON CIIL 

jThalaba among the ruins of Babylon. --Sov^n^Yt 

The many-coloured domes* 
Yet wore one dusky hue ; 
The cranes upon the Mosque 
Kept their night-clatter still ; 
When through the gate the early traveller pass'd* 
And when, at evening, o'er the swampy plain 

The bittern's cry came far, 
Distinct in darkness seen* 
Above the low horizon's lingering light* 
Rose the near ruins of old Babylon* 
Once, from her lofty walls the charioteer 
Looked down on swafmirig myriads ; once she filing 
Her arches o'er Euphrates' conquered tide* 
And, through her brazen portals when she poured 
Her armies forth, the distant nations looked 
As men who watch the thunder-cloud in fear, 
Lest it should burst above theni;— She was fallen ! 
The queen of cities, Babylon, w&s fallen ! 
Low lay her bulwarks : the black scorpion basked 
In palace courts : within the sanctuary 

The she-wolf hid her whelps* 
Is yonder huge arid shapeless heap, what once 
Hath been the aerial gardens, height oil height 
Risings like Media's mountains, crowned with woodj 

* Of Bagdad; 



Lesson 103.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 233 

Work of imperial dotage ? Where the fane 
Of Bel us ? Where the golden image now, 
Which, at the sound of dulcimer and lute, 
Cornet and sackbut, harp and psaltery, 

The Assyrian slaves adored 1 
A labyrinth of ruins, Babylon 

Spreads o'er the blasted plain. 
The wandering Arab never sets his tent 
Within her walls. The shepherd eyes afar 
Her evil towers, and devious drives his flock. 
Alone unchanged, a free and bridgeless tide, 

Euphrates rolls along, 

Eternal nature's work. 

Through the broken portal, 
Over weedy fragments, 
Thalaba went his way. 
Cautious he trod, and felt 
The dangerous ground before him with his bow. 
The jackal started at his steps ; 
The stork, alarmed at sound of man, 
From her broad nest upon the old pillar top, 
Affrighted fled on flapping wings ; 
The adder, in her haunts disturbed, 
Lanched at the intruding staff her arrowy tongue. 

Twilight and moonshine, dimly mingling, gave 

An awful light obscure : 
Evening not wholly closed — 
The moon still pale and faint, — 
An awful light obscure, 

Broken by many a mass of blackest shade ; 

Long columns stretching dark through weeds and moss, 

Broad length of lofty wall, 
Whose windows lay in light, 

And of their former shape, low-arched or square, 

Rude outline on the earth 
Figured with long grass fringed. 

Reclined against a column's broken shaft, 
Unknowing whitherward to bend his way, 

He stood and gazed around. 
The ruins closed him in : 
It seemed as if no foot of man 
For ages had intruded there, 
20 * 



S34 ,M THE AMERICAN [Lesmi 104, 

He stood and gazed awhile* 
Musing on Babel's pride, and Babel's fall^ 

Then, through the ruined street^ 
And through the farther gate* 
He passed in silence on* 



Lesson civ* 

Daily Prayeri—Morningi—GiikNNiN&i 

The scriptures of the Oid and New Testaments agree in 
enjoining prayer* Let no man call himself a christian, who 
lives without giving a part of life to this duty. We are not 
taught how often we mttst pray ; but our Lord in teaching 
us> to say, " Give us this day our daily bread*" implies that 
we should pray daily* As to the particular hours to be giv- 
en to this duty, every christian may choose them for him- 
self. Our religion is too liberal and spiritual to bind us to 
any place or any hour of prayer. But there are parts of 
the day particularly favourable to this duty, and which, if 
possible, should be redeemed for it* 

Thejirst of these periods is the morning, which even na^ 
tir *c* seems to have pointed out to men of different religions* 
as a fit time for offerings to the Divinity* In the morning 
our minds are riot so much shaken by worldly cares and 
pleasures* as in other parts of the day. Retirement and 
sleep have helped to allay the violence of our feelings, to 
calm the feverish excitement so often produced by inter- 
course with mehi The hour is a still one* The hurry and 
tumults of life are hot begun, and we naturally share in the 
tranquillity around Us. Having for so many hours lost our 
hold oh the world* We can banish it more easily from the 
mi rid, and Worship with less divided attention. This, then* 
is a favourable time for approaching the invisible Author of 
our being* for strengthening the intimacy of our minds with 
aim, for thinking upon a future life, and for seeking those 
spiritual aids which we heed in the labours and temptations 
**f every day. 

In the morning there is milch to feed the spirit of devo- 
tion* It offers ah abundance of thoughts, friendly to pious 
feeling. When we look on creation, what a happy and 
ouching change do we witness ! A few hours past, the earth 
was wrapt in gloom and siiehefc. There seemed " a pause 



Lesson 104.] FIRST CLASS BOOK* 233 

in nature." But now, a new flood of light has broken fbrthj 
and creation rises before us in fresher and brighter hues, 
and seems to rejoice as if it had just received birth from its 
Author. 

The sun never sheds more cheerful beams* and never 
proclaims more loudly God's glory and goodness, than when 
he returns after the coldness and dampness of night) and 
awakens man and inferiour animals to the various purposed 
of their being. A spirit of joy seems breathed over the 
earth and through the sky. It requires little effort of ima* 
gination to read delight in the kindled clouds, or in the 
fields bright with dew. This is the time, when we can best 
feel and bless the Power which said, " let there be light ;'* 
which " set a tabernacle for the sun in the heavens*" and 
made him the dispenser of fmitfulness and enjoyment 
through all regions. 

If we next look at ourselves, what materials does the 
morning furnish for devout thought ! At the close of the past 
day, We were exhausted by our labours, and unable to move 
without wearisome efforts Our minds were sluggish * and 
Could not be held to the most interesting objects. From this 
state of exhaustion, We sunk gradually into entire insen- 
sibility. Our limbs became motionless ; our senses were 
shut as in death* Our thoughts were suspended, or only 
wandered confusedly and without aim* Our friends, and 
the universe, and God himself wer£ forgotten* 

And what a change does the morning bring with it ! On 
waking we find, that sleep, the image of death, has silently 
infused into us a new life* The Weary limbs are braced 
again. The dim eye has become bright and piercing* The 
mind is returned from the region of forgetfulness to its 
old possessions. Friends are met again with a new inter- 
est* We are again capable of devout sentiment, virtuous 
effort, and Christian hope* With what subjects of gratitude*, 
then, does the morning furnish us 1 We can hardly recall 
the state of insensibility from which we have just emerged* 
without a consciousness of our dependanee, or think of the 
renovation of our powers and intellectual being, without 
feeling our obligation to God. 

There is something very touching in the consideration, if 
we Will fix our minds upon it, that God thought of Us when 
ice could not think; that he watched over us when we had 
no power to avert peril from ourselves ; that he continued 
out vital motions, and in due time broke the chains of sleep* 



!!30 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 104 

and set our imprisoned faculties free. How fit is it, at this 
hour, to raise to God the eyes which lie has opened, and the 
arm which he has strengthened ; to acknowledge his provi- 
dence ; to consecrate to him the powers he has renewed ! 
How fit that he should be the first object of the thoughts 
and affections which he has restored ! How fit to employ 
in his praise the tongue he has loosed, and the breath which 
he has spared ! 

But the morning is a fit time for devotion, not only from 
its relation to the past night, but considered as the intro- 
duction of a new day. To a thinking mind, how natural at 
this hour are such reflections as the following : — I am now 
to enter on a new period of my life, to start afresh in my 
course* I am to return to that world, where I have often 
gone astray ; to receive impressions which may never be 
effaced ; to perform actions which will never be forgotten ; 
to strengthen a character, which will fit me for heaven or 
hell. I am this day to meet temptations which have often 
subdued me ; I am to be intrusted again with opportunities 
of usefulness, which I have often neglected. I am to influ- 
ence the minds of others* to help in moulding their charac- 
ters, and in deciding the happiness of their present and 
future life. How uncertain is this day ! What unseen 
dangers are before me ! What unexpected changes may 
await me ! It may be my last day ! It will certainly bring 
me nearer to death and judgement ! 

Now, when entering on a period of life so important, yet 
so uncertain, how fit and natural is it, before we take the 
first step, to seek the favour of that Being on whom the lot 
of every day depends ; to commit all our interests to his 
almighty and wise providence ; to seek his blessing on oui 
labours, and his succour in temptation ; and to consecrate to 
his service the day which he raises upon us ! This morning 
devotion, not only agrees with the sentiments of the heart, 
but tends to make the day happy, useful, and virtuous. 
Having cast ourselves on the mercy and protection of the 
Almighty, we shall go forth with new confidence to the la- 
bours and duties which he imposes. Our early prayer will 
help to shed an odour of piety through the whole life. God, 
having first occupied, will more easily recur to our mind. 
Our first step will be in the right path, and we may hope a 
happy issue. 

So fit and useful is morning devotion, it ought not to be 
omitted without necessity. If our circumstances will allow 



the privilege, it is a bacf sign, when no part of the morning" 
is spent in prayer* If God find no place in our minds at 
that early and peaceful hour, he will hardly recur to us in 
the tumults of life. If the benefits of the morning; do not 
soften us, we can hardly expect the heart to melt with grat- 
itude through the day. If the world then rush in, and take 
possession of us, when we are at some distance and have had 
a respite from its cares, how can we hope to shake it off* 
when we shall he in the midst of it, pressed and agitated by 
it on every side 1 

Let a part of the morning, if possible, be set apart to de- 
votion ; and to this end we should fix the hour of rising, so 
that we may have an early hour at our own disposal. Our 
piety is suspicious, if we can renounce, as too many do, the 
pleasures and benefits of early prayer, rather than forego 
the senseless indulgence of unnecessary sleep. What ! we 
can rise early enough for business. We can even anticipate 
the dawn, if a favourite pleasure or an uncommon gain re- 
quires the effort. But we cannot rise, that we may bless our 
great Benefactor, that we may arm ourselves for the severe 
conflicts to which our principles are to be exposed. We 
are willing to rush into the world, without thanks offered* 
or a blessing sought. From a day thus begun, what ought 
we to expect but thoughtlessness and guilt ! 



LESSON CV, 

Daily Pi^ayef.^Eveiiingi—CiiANHiNG* 

Let us now consider another part of the day which is fa- 
vourable, to the duty of prayer; we mean the evening* 
This season, like the morning, is e^lm and quiet. Our la- 
bours are ended, The bustle'of life is gone by. The dis- 
tracting glare of the day has vanished. The darkness which 
surrounds us favours seriousness, composure, and solemnity* 
At night the earth fades from our siHit, and nothing of ere* 
ation is left lis but the starry heavens, so vast, so magnifi- 
cent, so serene, as if to guide up our thoughts above all 
earthly things to God and immortality. 

This period should in part be given to prayer, as it fur- 
nishes a variety of devotional topicks and excitements* The 
evening is the close of an important division of time, and U 



238 THE AMERICAS' [Lesson 105. 

therefore a fit and natural season for stopping and looking 
back on the day. And can we ever look hack on a day, 
which bears no witness to God, and lays no claim to our 
gratitude 1 Who is it that strengthens us for daily labour, 
gives us daily bread, continues our friends and common 
pleasures, and grants us the privilege of retiring, after the 
cares of the day, to a quiet and beloved home 1 

The review of the day will often suggest not only these 
ordinary benefits, but peculiar proofs of God's goodness. 
unlooked for successes, singular concurrences of favourable 
events, singular blessings sent to our friends, or new and 
powerful aids to our own virtue, which call for peculiar 
thankfulness. And shall ail these benefits pass away unno- 
ticed ? Shall we retire to repose as insensible as the wea- 
ried brute ? How fit and natural is it, to close with pious 
acknowledgment, the day which has been filled with di- 
vine beneficence ! 

But the evening is the time to review, not only ou_ bless- 
ings, but our actions. A reflecting mind will naturally re- 
member at this hour that another day is gone, and gone to 
testify of us to our judge. How natural and useful to inquire, 
what report it has carried to heaven ! Perhaps we have the 
satisfaction of looking back on a day, which in its general 
tenor has' been innocent and pure, which, having begun with 
God's praise, has been spent as in his presence ; which has 
proved the reality of our principles in temptation: and shall 
such a day end without gratefully acknowledging Him in 
whose strength we have been strong, and to whom we owe 
the powers and opportunities of Christian improvement ? 

Bat no day will present to us recollections of purity un- 
mixed with sin. Conscience, if suffered to inspect faithful- 
ly and speak plainly, will recount irregular desires, and de- 
fective motives, talents wasted and time mispent ; and shall 
we let the day pass from us without penitently confessing 
our offences to Him who has witnessed them, and who has 
promised pardon to true repentance ? Shall we retire to 
rest with a burden of unlamented and unfor given guilt upon 
our consciences 1 Shall we leave these stains to spread over 
and sink into the soul ? 

A religious recollection of our lives is one of the chief in- 
struments of piety. If possible, no day should end without 
it. If we take no account of our sins on the day on which 
they are committed, can we hope that they will recur to us 
at a more distant period, that we shall watch against them 



Lesson 106.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 239 

tomorrow, or that we shall gain the strength to resist them, 
which we will not implore ? 

The evening is a fit time for prayer, not only as it ends 
the day, but as it immediately precedes the period of repose. 
The hour of activity having- passed, we are soon to sink 
into insensibility and sleep. How fit that we resign our- 

ves to the care of that Being who never sleeps, to whom 
the darkness is as the light, and whose providence is our 
only safety ! How fit to entreat him that he would keep us 
to another day ; or, if our bed should prove our grave, that 
lie would give us a part in the resurrection of the just, and 

ake us to a purer and immortal life ! Let our prayers, 
like the ancient sacrifices, ascend morning and evening. Let 
our days begin and end with God* 



LESSON CVL 

Scent after a summer shower. — Christian DiscirLE, 

The rain is o'er — How dense and bright 

Yon pearly clouds reposing lie ! 
Cloud above cloud, a glorious sight, 

Contrasting with the dark blue skv ! 

In grateful silence earth receives 

The general blessing ; fresh and fair* 

Each flower expands its little leaves, 
As glad the common joy to share. 

The softened sunbeams pour around 

A fairy light, uncertain, pale ; 
The wind flows cool ; the scented ground 

Is breathing 1 odours on the gale, 

Mid von rich clouds' voluptuous pile^ 

Methinks some spirit of the air, 
Might rest to gaze below awhile, 

Then turn to bathe and revel there. 

The sun breaks forth — from off the scene* 

Its floating veil of mist is flung ; 
An el all the wilderness of green 

With trembling drops of light is hung* 



240 THE AMERICAN [lesson 101 

Now gaze on nature— jet the same,— -^ 
Glowing with life, by breezes fanned. 

Luxuriant, lovely, as she came 

Fresh in her youth from God's own hand 

Hear the rich musick of that voice, 
Which sounds from all below, above ; 

She calls her children to rejoice, 

And round them throws her arms of love, 

Drink in her influence — low-born care. 

And ail the train of mean desire, 
Refuse to breathe this holy air, 

And rnid this living light exnire, 



o c 



LESSON CVII. 

Baneful Lrjluence of Skeptical Philosophy.— Campbell, 

O ! lives there, heaven "! beneath thy dread expanse 
One hopeless* dark idolater of Chance, 
Content to feed, with pleasures unrefined. 
The lukewarm passions of a lowly mind; 
Who, mouldering earthward, 'reft of every trust, 
In joyless union wedded to the dust, 
Could all his parting enersrv dismiss, 
And call this barren world sufficient bliss ?-*=■ 
There live, alas i of heaven-directed mien, 
■Of cultured soul, and sapient eye serene, 
Who haif thee, man ! the pilgrim of a day, 
Spouse of the worm, and brother of the clay;! 
Frail as the leaf in Autumn's yellow bower. 
Dust in the wind, or dew upon the flower ! 
A friendless slave, a child without a sire, 
Whose mortal life, and momentary fire, 
Lights to the grave his chance-created form,, 
As ocean-wrecks illuminate the storm ; 
And, when the gun's tremendous flash is o'er,, 
To night and silence sink for evermore !— 

Are these the pompous tidings ye proclaim., 
Lights of the world, and demi-gods of fame 1 
Is this your triumph- — this your proud applause, 
Children cf Truth, and champions of her cause ? 



Lesson 107.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 24] 

For this hath Science search'd, en weary wing, 
By shore and sea — each mute and living thing ] 
Launched with Iberia's pilot from the steep, 
To worlds unknown, and isles beyond the deep 1 
Or round the cope her living chariot driven, 
And wheeled in triumph through the signs of heaven t 
Oh ! star-eyed Science, hast thou wandered there, 
To waft us home the message of despair ? — • 
Then bind the palm, thy sage's brow to suit, 
Of blasted leaf, and death-distilling fruit ! 
Ah me ! the laurelled wreath that murder rears, 
Blood-nursed, and watered by the widow's tears, 
Seems not so foul, so tainted, and so dread, 
As waves the night-shade round the skeptick head* 
What is the bigot's torch, the tyrant's chain ? 
I smile on death, if heaven-ward hope remain ! 
But, if the warring winds of Nature's strife 
Be all the faithless charter of my life, 
If ^hance awaked, inexorable power 1 
This frail and feverish being of an hour, 
Doomed o'er the world's precarious scene to sweep. 
Swift as the tempest travels on the deep, 
To know Delight but by her parting smile, 
And toil, and wish, and weep, a little while ; 
Then melt, ye elements, that formed in vain 
This troubled pulse, and visionary brain ! 
Fade, ye wild flowers, memorials of my doom ! 
And sink, ye stars, that light me to the tomb ! 
Truth, ever loveiy, since the world began, 
The foe of tyrants, and the friend of man,— 
How can thy words from balmy slumber start 
Reposing Virtue, pillowed on the heart ! 
Yet, if thy voice the note of thunder rolled, 
And that were true which Nature never told, 
Let Wisdom smile not on her conquered field ; 
No rapture dawns, no treasure is revealed I 
Oh ! let her read, nor loudly, nor elate, 
The doom that bars us from a better fate ; 
But, sad as angels for the good man's sin, 
Weep to record, and blush to give it in ! 

21 












242 f HE AMERICAN [Lesson 108. 

LESSON CVIII. 

Affecting pictitre of Constancy in love. — Crabbe. 

Yes ! there are real mourners— I have seen 
A fair, sad girl, mild, suffering, and serene ; 
Attention (through the day) her duties claimed, 
And to be useful as resigned she aimed : 
Neatly she dressed, nor vainly seemed to expect 
Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect ; 
But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep, 
She sought her place to meditate and weep. 
Then to her mind was a!S the past displayed, 
That faithful memory brings to sorrow's aid : 
For then she thought on one regretted youth, 
Her tender trust, and his unquestioned truth ; 
In every plact she wandered, where they'd been, 
And sadly-sacred held the parting scene, 
Where last for sea he took his leave ; — that place 
With double interest would she nightly trace. 
For long the courtship was, and he would say 
Each time he sailed — this one, and then the day — 
Yet prudence tarried, and when last he went, 
He drew from pitying love a full consent. 

Happy he sailed, and great the care she took, 
That he should softly sleep, and smartly look ; 
White was his better linen, and his check 
Was made more trim than any on the deck ; 
And every comfort men at sea can know, 
Was hers to buy, to make, and to bestow : 
For he to Greenland sailed, and much he told. 
How he should guard against the climate's cold ; 
Yet saw not danger ; dangers he'd withstood, 
Nor could she trace the fever in his blood : 
His messmates smiled at flushings in his cheek, 
And he too smiled, but seldom would he speak ; 
For now he found the danger, felt the pain, 
With grievous symptoms he could not explain. 

He called his friend, and prefaced with a »igri 
A lover's message — " Thomas, I must die : 
Would I could see my Sally, and could rest 
My throbbing temples on her faithful breast, 
And gazing go !— if not, this trifle take, 
And say, till death I wore it for her sake : 



Lesson 108.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. H% 

Yes ! I must die — blow on, sweet breeze, blow on ! 
Give me one look, before my life be gone, 
Oh ! give me that ! and let me not despair, — 
One last, fond look ! — and now repeat the prayer." 

He had his wish— had more ; I will not paint 
The lovers' meeting : she beheld him faint — 
With tender fears, she took a nearer view, 
Her terrours doubling: as her hopes withdrew ; 
He tried to smile; and, half succeeding, said, 
" Yes ! I must die"— and hope for ever fled. 

Still, long she nursed him ; tender thoughts meantime 
Were interchanged, and hopes and views sublime. 
To her he came to die, and every day 
She took some portion of the dread away ; 
With him she prayed, to him his Bible read, 
Soothed the faint heart, and held the aching head : 
She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer ; 
Apart she sighed ; alone she shed the tear ; 
Then, as if breaking from a cloud, she gave 
Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave. 

One day he lighter seemed, and they forgot 
The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot ; 
They spoke with cheerfulness, and seemed to think, 
Yet said not so— " perhaps he will not sink." 
A sudden brightness in his look appeared, 
A sudden vigour in his voice was heard ; — 
She had been reading in the Book of Prayer, 
And led him forth and placed him in his chair ; 
Lively he seemed, and spoke of all he knew, 
The friendly many, and the favourite few : 
Nor one that day did he to mind recall, 
But she has treasured, and she loves them all; 
When in her way she meets them, they appear 
Peculiar people — death has made them dear. 
He named his friend, but then his hand she prest, 
And fondly whispered " Thou must go to rest." 
" I go," he said; but as he spoke, she found 
His hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound ; 
Then gazed arYrightened ; but she caught a last, 
A dying look of love, and all was past ! 

She placed a decent stone his grave above, 
Neatly engraved — an offering of her love ; 
For that she wrought, for that forsook her beJ 
Awake alike to duty and the dead ; 



IM THE AMERICAN [Lesson 109 

She would have grieved, had friends presumed to spare 
The least assistance — 'twas her proper care. 

Here will she come, and on the grave will sit, 
Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit ; 
But if observer pass, will take her round, 
And careless seem, for she would not be found ; 
Then go again, and thus her hour employ, 
While visions please her, and while woes destroy. 



LESSON CIX. \. 

Diedrich Knickerbocker's New-England Farmei\ — W. Irving. 

The first thought of a Yankee farmer, on coming to the 
years of manhood, is to settle himself in the world — which 
means nothing more than to begin his rambles. To this 
* ad, he takes to himself for a wife some buxom country 
eiress, passing rich in red ribands, glass beads, and mock 
ortoise-shell combs, with a white ffown and morocco shoes 
for Sunday, and deeply skilled in the mystery of making 
apple-sweetmeats, long sauce, and pumpkin pie. Having 
thus provided himself, like a pedler, with a heavy knap- 
sack, wherewith to regale his shoulders through the jour- 
ney of life, he literally sets out on his peregrinations. 

His whole family, household furniture, and farming uten- 
sils, are hoisted into a covered cart ; his own and wife's 
wardrobe packed up in a firkin — -which done, he shoulders 
his axe, takes staff in his hand, whistles "Yankee doodle," 
and trudges off to the woods, as confident of the protection 
of Providence, and relying as cheerfully on his own resour- 
ces, as ever did a patriarch of yore, when he journeyed 
into a strange country of the Gentiles. Having buried him- 
self in the wilderness, he builds himself a log-hut, clears 
away a corn-field and potato-patch, and, Providence smil- 
ing upon his labours, he is soon surrounded by a snug farm, 
and some half a score of flaxen-headed urchins, who, bvjj 
their size, seem to have sprung all at once out of the earth, 
like a crop of toadstools. 

But it is not the nature of this most indefatigable of spec- 
ulators to rest contented with any state of sublunary enjoy- 
ment : improvement is his darling passion; and having 
thus improved his lands, the next state is to provide a 
mansion worthy the residence of a landholder. A huge 



Lesson 109.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 245 

palace of pine-boards, immediately springs up in the midst 
of the wilderness, large enough for a parish church, and 
furnished with windows of all dimensions; but so rickety 
and flimsy withal, that evqry blast gives it a fit of the ague. 
By the time the outside df this mighty air-castle is com- 
Dieted, either the funds or fhe zeal of our adventurer are ex- 
nausted, so that he barely manages to half finish one room 
within, where the whole family burrow together, while the 
rest of the house is devoted to the curing of pumpkins, or 
storing of carrots and potatoes, and is decorated with fanci- 
fu 1 festoons of dried apples and peaches. 

The outside remaining unpainted, grows venerably black 
with time ; the familv wardrobe is laid under contribution 
for old hats, petticoats, and breeches to stuff into the broken 
windows ; while the four winds of heaven keep up a whis- 
tling and howling about the aerial palace, and play a? many 
unruly gambols as they did of yore in the cave of ^Solus. 
The humble log-hut, which whilom nestled this improving 
family snugly within its narrow but comfortable walls, 
stands hard bv. ignominious contrast ! degraded into a cow- 
house or pig-stv ; and the whole scene reminds one forcibly 
of a fable, which I am surprised has never been recorded, 
of an aspiring snail, who abandoned his humble habitation, 
which he had long filled with great respectability, to crawl 
into the empty shell of a lobster, where he could no doubt 
have resided with great style and splendour, the envy and 
hate of all the pains-taking snails in his neighbourhood, had 
he not accidentally perished with cold in one corner of his 
stupendous mansion. 

Being thus completely settled, and, to use his own words, 
" to rights," one would imagine that he would begin to en- 
joy the comforts of his situation, to read newspapers, to talk 
politicks, neglect his own business, and attend to the affairs 
of the nation, like a useful or patriotick citizen; but now it 
is that his wayward disposition again begins to operate. He 
soon grows tired of a spot where there is no longer any room 
for improvement, sells his farm — his air-castle, petticoat 
windows and all, reloads his cart, shoulders his axe, purs 
himself at tig head of his family, and wanders away in 
search of new lands, again to fell trees, again to clear corn- 
fields, again to build a shingle-palace, aad again t? se ? ( oi% 
and wander. 

21* 



246 THE AMERICAN [Lesson lib. 



LESSON CX. 

On the dangers of moral sentiment, unaccompanied with active 

virtue. — Alison. 

Of the various appearances of melancholy weakness in 
youth, none is more general or more fatal to every duty or 
hope of the christian, than that, where the youthful taste is 
exalted above the condition in which life is to be passed. 
The faithful parent, or the wise instructer of the young, will 
ever assiduously accommodate the ideas of excellence to the 
actual circumstances and the probable scenes in which their 
future years are to be engaged ; and every condition of life 
undoubtedly affords opportunities for the highest excellence 
of which our nature is susceptible. If, on the other hand, 
these hours are neglected, — if the fancy of youth be suffered 
to expand into the regions of visionary perfection, — if com- 
positions, which nourish all these chimerical opinions, are 
permitted to hold an undue share in the studies of the 
young, — -if, what is far more, no employments of moral la- 
bour and intellectual activity are afforded them to correct 
this progressive indolence, and give strength and energy to 
their opening minds, there is much danger that the seeds of 
irremediable evil are sown, and that the future harvest of 
life Will be only feebleness, and contempt, and sorrow. 

If, in the first place, it is to the common duties of life 
they advance, how singularly unprepared are they for their 
discharge ! In ail ranks and conditions, these duties are the 
same ;— every where sacred in the eyes of God and man ; — 
every where requiring activity, and firmness, and perse- 
verance of mind ; — and every where only to be fulfilled by the 
deep sense of religious obligation. For such scenes, how- 
ever, of common trial and of universal occurrence, the 
characters we are considering are ill prepared. — Their hab- 
its have given them no energy or activity ; — their studies 
have enlightened their imaginations, but not warmed their 
hearts ; — their anticipations of action have been upon a ro- 
mantick theatre, not upon the humble dust of mortal life. 

It is the fine-drawn scenes of visionary distress to which 
they have been accustomed, not the plain circumstances of 
common wretchedness. — It is the momentary exertions of 
generosity or greatness which have elevated their fancy, 
not the long and patient struggle of pious duty. — It is before 



lesson 110.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 247 

an admiring world that th^y have hitherto conceived them- 
selves to act, not in solitude and obscurity, amid the wants 
of poverty, the exigencies of disease, or the deep silence of 
domestick sorrow. — Is it wonderful that characters of this 
enfeebled kind should sometimes recoil from the duties to 
which they are called, and which appear to them in colours 
so unexpected ? — that they should consider the world as a 
gross and vulgar scene, unworthy of their interest, and its 
common obligations as something beneath them to perform ; 
and that, with an affectation of proud superiority, they 
should wish to retire from a field in which they have the 
presumption to think it is fit only for vulgar minds to com- 
bat ? 

If these are the opinions which they form on their en- 
trance upon the world and all its stern realities, it is the 
" fountain from which many waters of bitterness will flow.' 1 
Youth may pass a indolence and imagination, but life must 
necessarily be active ; and what must be the probable char- 
acter of that life which begins with disgust at the simple, 
but inevitable duties to which it is called, it is not difficult 
to determine. 

From hence come many classes of character with which 
the world presents us, in what we call its higher scenes, 
and which it is impossible to behold without a sentiment of 
pity, as well as of indignation ; in some, the perpetual affec- 
tation of sentiment, and the perpetual absence of its reality ; 
in others, the warm admiration of goodness, and the cold 
and indignant performance of their own most sacred duties ; 
in some, that childish belief of their own superiour refine- 
ment, which leads them to withdraw from the common 
scenes of life and of business, and to distinguish themselves 
only by capricious opinions and fantastick manners ; and in 
others, of a bolder spirit, the prcmd rejection of all the du- 
ties and decencies which belong only to common men, — the 
love of that distinction in vice which they feel themselves 
unable to attain in virtue, and the gradual but too certain 
advance to the last stages of guilt, of impiety, and of wretch- 
edness. Such are sometimes the " issues" of a once pr^^n- 
ising youth ! and to these degrees of folly or of guilt, let the 
parents and the instructers of the young ever remember, 
that those infant hearts may come, which have not been 
" kept with all diligence," and early exercised in virtuous 
activity. 

Air id these delusions of fancy, life, meanwhile, with all 



248 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 110 

its plain and serious business, is passing; — their contempo- 
raries, in every line, are starting before them in the road 
of honour, of fortune, or of usefulness ; and nothing is now 
left them but to concentrate all the vigour of their minds to 
recover the ground which they have lost. But if this last 
energy be wanting, if what they " would," they yet fail to 
" do," what, alas ! can be the termination of the once ar- 
dent and aspiring mind, but ignominy and disgrace ! — a 
heart dissatisfied with mankind and with itself; a conscience 
sickening at the review of what is passed ; a failing fortune ; 
a degraded character; and, what I fear is ever the last and 
the most frantick refuge of selfish and disappointed ambi- 
tion, — infidelity and despair. 

It is ever painful to trace the history of human degrada,- 
tion, and it would even be injurious to religion and virtue to 
do it, if it were not at the same time to exhibit the means 
by which these evils may be prevented. Of the character 
which I have now attempted to illustrate, the origin may be 
expressed in one word : — it is in the forgetfulness of duty, 
in the forgetfulness that every power, and advantage, and 
possession of our being, are only trusts committed to us 
for an end, not properties which we are to dispose of at 
pleasure ; — in the forgetfulness that all our imaginary vir- 
tues are " nothing worth," unless they spring from the gen- 
uine and permanent source of moral and religious obliga- 
tion. 

Wherever, indeed, we look around us upon general life, 
we may every where see, that nothing but the deep sense of 
religion can produce either consistency or virtue in human 
conduct. The world deceives us on one side — our imagina- 
tions on another, — our passions upon all. Nothing could 
save us ; nothing, with such materials, could hold together 
even the fabrick of society, but the preservation of that 
deep and instinctive sense of duty, which the Father of 
nature hath mercifully given to direct and illuminate r in 
every relation of life ; which is " none other" than his vvVn 
voice ; to which all our other powers, if they aim either at 
wisdom or at virtue, must be subservient ; and which leads 
us, if we listen to it, to every thing few* which we were call- 
ed into being, either here or hereafter. 



Lesson 111.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 2i<* 

LESSON CXI. 

Infidelity, — Andrew Thompson. 

We have heard, indeed, of men who affected to hold fast 
by the tenets of natural religion, while they repudiated those 
of divine revelation ; but we have never been so fortunate 
as to see and converse with one of them whose creed, se- 
lect, and circumscribed, and palatable as he had made it, 
seemed to have any serious footing in his mind, or any 
practical influence on his life ; who could restrain his sneer 
at piety the most untinctured with enthusiasm ; or who 
could check his speculations, however hostile to the system 
he had affected to embrace ; or who worshipped the God in 
whose existence and attributes he acknowledged his belief; 
or who acted with a view to that immortality for which he 
allowed that the soul of man is destined. 

It is true the votaries of infidelity are often placed in cir- 
cumstances which constrain them to hold such language, 
and maintain such a deportment, as by itself might indicate 
the presence of Christian principle. They are frequently 
not at liberty to give that full play, and that unreserved 
publicity to their unbelief in which, however, it is naturally 
disposed to indulge, and in which it would undoubtedly 
manifest itself, were it free to operate at large. And you 
may not therefore, at particular times, and in particular 
situations, perceive any marked distinction between them 
and the devoted followers of Jesus of Nazareth. 

They may have a family, and in the tenderness of parental 
affection, and with the conviction that what thev regard as 
altogether false may contribute as much to the virtue and 
happiness of their children as if it were altogether true, 
they may shrink from any declaration of infidelity within 
the domestick circle. They may acknowledge, in the sea- 
son of their own distress, or they may suggest, amid the 
distresses of their friends, those considerations to which 
the mind, when softened or when agitated by affliction, 
naturally clings, even though it has no habitual conviction 
of their truth, and no proper title to the consolation which 
they afford. They may be driven by bodily anguish, or by 
impending danger, to utter the language of a piety- which, 
till that moment, was a stranger even to their lips, ju>t as 
the mariner has been known, amidst the perils and hor- 
rours of a shipwreck, to cry for mercy from that God whose 
existence he had never before confessed, but by his pro- 



250 THE AMERICAN [Lesson A\2 

faneness and his blasphemies; Or they may even be strong- 
ly and insensibly induced to accommodate themselves to 
prevailing- customs, and to pay an outward homage to the 
faith of the ~New Testament, by occasionally attending* its 
institutions, though they are all the while regarding it as a 
mere harmless fable, if not as a contemptible or a perni- 
cious superstition. 

But look at them when placed in those circumstances 
which put no such restraints upon what they may say and 
do as the enemies of Christianity ; observe them when the 
pride of intellect tempts them to display their learning or 
their ingenuity in contending against the vulgar faith — or 
when they have a passion to gratify which needs the aid of 
some principle to vindicate its indulgence — or when they 
have nothing to fear from giving utterance to what they 
think and feel — or when they happen to be associated with 
those among whom the quality of freethinking prevails — 
observe them as to the language which they employ, and 
the practice which they maintain with respect to religion, 
in the ordinary course and tenour of their lives ; and then 
say what positive proofs they give you of the reality or of 
the efficacy of those religious principles which they profess 
to have retailed, after putting away from them the doctrine 
of Christ. 

Say, if instead of affording you positive proofs of such 
rem'anent and distinctive piety, they are not displaying daily 
and inveterate symptoms that God, and Providence, and 
immortality, are not in all their thoughts. Say, if you 
have not seen many a melancholy demonstration of that 
general irreligion which we have ascribed to them as the 
consequence of their throwing off the dominion of the Gos- 
pel. And say if you have not been able to trace this down 
through all the gradations of infidelity, from the speculative 
philosopher, who has decided that there is no Saviour, till 
you come to the fool, who says, in the weakness and the 
wickedness of his heart, that there is no God. 



LESSON CXII. 

Same Subject, — Concluded. 

It is amidst trials and sorrows that infidelity appears m 
its justest and most frightful aspect. When subjected to the 



Lesson 112. J FIRST CLASS BOOfv. 251 

multifarious ills which flesh is heir to, what is there to up- 
hold our spirit, but the discoveries and the prospects that 
are unfolded to us by revelation 1 What, for this purpose, 
can be compared with the belief that exery thing here be- 
low is under the management of infinite wisdom and good- 
ness, and that there is an immortality of bliss awaiting us 
in another world ? If this conviction be taken away, what 
is it that we can have recourse to, on which the mind mav 
patiently and safely repose in the season of adversity 1 
Where is the balm which I may apply with effect to my 
wounded heart, after I have reiected the aid of the Almigh- 
ty Physician 1 

Impose upon me whatever hardships you please ; give me 
nothing but the bread of sorrow to eat ; take from me the 
friends in whom I had placed my confidence ; lay me in the 
cold hut of poverty, and on the thorny bed of disease ; set 
death before me in all its terrours ; do ail this, — only let me 
trust in my Saviour, and I will " fear no evil," — I will rise 
superiour to affliction,— I will " rejoice in my tribulation." 
But let infidelity interpose between God and my soul, and 
draw its impenetrable veil over a future state of existence, 
and limit all my trust to the creatures of a day, and all my 
expectations to a few years as uncertain as they are short, 
and how shall I bear up, with fortitude or with cheerful- 
ness, under the burden of distress ? Or where shall I find 
one drop of consolation to put into the bitter draught which 
has been given me to drink 1 I look over the whole range 
of tiiis wilderness in which I dwell, but I see not one covert 
from the storm, nor one leaf for the healing of my soul, nor 
one cup of cold water to refresh me in the weariness and 
the faintings of my pilgrimage. 

The very conduct of infidels, in spreading their system 
with so much eagerness and industry, affords a striking proof 
that its influence is essentially hostile to human happiness. 
For what is their conduct ? Why, they allow that religion 
contributes largely to the comfort of man, — that in this re- 
speet, as well as with respect to morality, it would be a great 
evil were it to lose its hold ovex their affections,' — and that 
those are no friends to the world who would shake or de- 
stroy their belief in it. And yet, in the very face of this 
acknowledgment, they scruple not to publish their doubts 
and their unbelief concerning it among their fellow-men, 
and with all the cool deliberation of philosophy, and some- 
iifries with all the keenness and ardour of a zealot, to do the 



252 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 112. 

very thing which they profess to deprecate as pernicious to 
the well-being and comfort of the species. Whether they 
are sincere in this profession, or whether they are only 
trilling with the sense and feeling of mankind, still it de- 
monstrates the hardening influence of their principles ; and 
from principles, which make those who hold them so reck- 
less of the peace and order and happiness of their brethren, 
what can be reasonably expected, but every thing which is 
most destructive of human comfort 1 

It is true, the infidel may be very humane in the inter- 
course of life ; but, after all, what dependence can be 
placed upon that humanity of his, which deals out bread to 
the hungry, and clothing to the naked, and yet would sacri- 
fice to literary vanity, or to something worse, whatever can 
give support in trial, and consolation at death ? He may 
sympathize with me in my distress, and speak to me of im- 
mortality, and, at the very moment, his constitutional kind- 
ness may be triumphing over his cold-blooded and gloomy 
speculations. But his speculations have shed a misery over 
my heart, which no language of his can dissipate, and which 
makes his most affectionate words sound in my ear like the 
words of mockery and scorn. 

He has destroved me, and he cannot save me, and he 
cannot comfort me. At his bidding I have renounced that 
Saviour in whom I once trusted and was happy, and he now 
pities me ; — as if his most pitying tones could charm away 
the anguish of my bosom, and make me forget that it was 
he himself who planted it there, and planted it so deep, 
and nourished it so well, that nothing but the power of 
that heaven, whose power I have denied, is able to pluck it 
out ! 

Yes, after he has destroyed my belief in the superintend- 
ing providence of God, — after he has taught me that the 
prospect of a hereafter is but the baseless fabrick of a vision, 
— after he has bred and nourished in me a conten : for 
that sacrt d volume which alone throws light over 1 <.s be- 
nighted world, — after having argued me out of my - bv 
his sophistries, or laughed me out of it by his ridicule, — aftei 
having thus wrung from my soul every drop of consolation, 
&nd dried up my very spirit within me, — yes, after having 
accomplished this in the season of my health and my pros- 
perity, he would come to me while I mourn, and treat me 
like a drivelling idiot, whom he may sport with, because he 
has ruined me, and to whom, in the plenitude of his com- 



Lesson US.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 2^ 

passion, — too late, and too unavailing, — he may talk of 
truths in which he himself does not believe, and which he 
has long exhorted me, and has at last persuaded me, to cast 
away as the dreams and the delusions of human folly ! — 
From such comforters may heaven preserve me ! " My 
soul come not thou into their secrets. Unto their assembly* 
mine honour, be not thou united !' 



LESSON CXIII. 

Death-Scene in Gertrude of Wyoming.* — Campbell. 

But short that contemplation — sad and short 
The pause to bid each much loved scene adieu ! 

Beneath the very shadow of the fort, 

Where friendly swords were drawn, and banners Sew, 
}. h ! who could deem that foot of Indian crew 

Was near ? — yet there, with lust of murderous deeds, 
Gleamed like a basilisk, from woods in view, 

The ambushed foeman's eye — his volley speeds, 

And Albert — Albert —falls ! the dear old father bleeds 1 

And tranced in giddy horrour Gertrude swooned ; 

Yet, while she clasps him lifeless to her zone, 
Say, burst they, borrowed from her father's wound, 

These drops ?-- Oh God ! the life-blood is her own ; 

And faltering, on her Waldegrave's bosom thrown — 
* Weep not, O Love !"— she cries, "to see me bleed— 

Thee, Gertrude's sad survivor, thee alone- 
Heaven's peace commiserate ; for scarce I heed 
These w r ounds ;— yet thee to leave is death, is death indeed. 

The three characters mentioned in the above passage, being warn= 
ed of the approach of a hostile tribe of North American Indians, are 
forced to abandon their peaceful retreat, in the vale of Wyoming, and 
fly for safety to a neighbouring fort. On the following" morning, at 
sun-rise while Gertru/e, together with Albert, her father, and Walde- 
grave, her husband, are looking from the battlements on the havock 
and desolation which had marked the progress of the barbarous enemy, 
an Indian marksman fires a mortal shot from his ambush at Albeit ; 
I and, as Gertrude clasps him in agony to her heart, another shot lays her 
bleeding by his side. She then takes farewell of her husband in a 
speech which our greatest modern critick has described as n more sweet- 
ly pathetick thai any thing ever written in rhym%."—M i Diarmid. 

22 



2G4 THE AML1UCAN [Lesson 114 

* Clasp m^ a little longer, on the brink 

Of fate ! while I can levl thy dear caress ; 
And, when this heart hath ceased to beat — oh '. think, 

And let it mitigate thy wo's excess, 

That thou hast been to me all tenderness, 
A friend, to more than human friendship just. 

Oh ! by that retrospect of happiness, 
And by the hopes of an immortal trust, 
God shall assuage thy pangs — when I am laid in dust ! 

" Go, Henry, go not back, when I depart ; 

The scene thy bursting tears too deep will move, 
Where my dear father took thee to his heart, 
And Gertrude thought it ecstasy to rove 

With thee, as with an angel, through the grove 
Of peace, — imagining her lot was cast 

In heaven ; for ours was not like earthly love : 
And must this parting be our very last ? 
No . I shall love thee still, when death itself is past/* — 

Fushed were his Gertrude's lips ! but still their bland 

And beautiful expression seemed to melt 
With love that could not die ! and still his hand 

She presses to the heart no more that felt. 

Ah, heart ! where once each fond affection dwelt, 
And features yet that spoke a soul more fair. 

Mute, gazing, agonizing as he knelt,— 
Of them that stood encircling his despair, 
He heard some friendly words ; — but knew not what they 
were. 



LESSON CXIV. 

To a Waterfowl. — -Bryant. 

Whither, 'midst falling 1 dew, 
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, 
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue 

Thy solitary way ] 

Vainly the fowler's eye 
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong, 
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky, 

Thy figure floats along. 



Lesson 115.J FIRST CLASS BOOK. 25S 

Seek'st thou the plashy jbriiiA 
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide, 
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink 

On the chafed ocean-side 1 

There is a Power whose care 
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast, — 
The desert and illimitable air, — 

Lone wandering, but not lost. 

AL day thy wings have fanned 
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere ; 
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land. 

Though the dark night is near. 

And soon that toil shall end, 
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest. 
And scream among thy fellows : reeds shall bend 

Soon o'er thy sheltered nest. 

Thou'rt gone ! the abyss of heaven 
Hath swallowed up thy form ; yet, on my heart 
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given, 

And shall not soon depart. 

He, who, from zone to zone, 
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight, 
In the long way that I must tread alone, 

Will lead my steps aright. 



- LESSON CXV. 

Hohenlinden. — Campbell. 

On Linden, when the sun was low, 
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow, 
And dark as winter was tne flow 
Of Iser,* rolling rapidly. 

"But Linden saw another sight, 
When the drum beat, at dead of night, 
Commanding fires of death to light 
The darkness of her scenery. 
* Pronounced Eser. 



256 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 116. 

By torch and trumpet fast arrayed, 
Each horseman drew his battle blade, 
And furious every charger neighed, 
To join the dreadful revelry. 

Then shook the hills with thunder riven, 
Then rushed the steeds to battle driven, 
And, louder than the bolts of heaven, 
Far flashed the red artillery. 

And redder yet those fires shall glow, 
On Linden's hills of blood-stained snow, 
And darker yet shall be the flow 
Of Iser, rolling rapidly. 

9 Tis morn, but scarce yon iurid sun 
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun, 
Where furious Frank, and fiery Hun, 
Shout in their sulphurous canopy. 

The combat* deepens. On, ye brave, 
Who rush to glory, or the grave ! 
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave ! 
And charge with all thy chivalry !t 

Ah ! few shall part where many meet ! 
The snow shall be their winding sheet, 
And every turf beneath their feet, 
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre. 



LESSON CXVI. 

Thanatopsis.™ -Bryant. 

To him. who, in /the love of Nature, holds 
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks 
A various language ; for his gayer hours 
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile 
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides 
Into his darker musings, with a mild 
And gentle sympathy, that steals away 
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thought* 
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight 

* Pronounced Curn'bat. t C/i, as in Chuich. 



Lesson 126.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. &ft 

Over thy spirit, and sad images 
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pali, 
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, 
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart ; — 
Go forth under the open sky, and list 
To Nature's teachings, while from all around— 
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air, — 
Comes a still voice — Yet a few days, and thee 
The all-beholding sun shall see no more 
In all his course ; nor yet in the cold ground, 
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, 
Nor in the embrace of ocean shall exist 
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim 
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again ; 
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up 
Thine individual being, shalt thou go 
To mix for ever with the elements, 
To be a brother to the insensible rock 
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain 
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak 
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. 
Yet not to thy eternal resting place 
Shalt thou retire alone — nor couldst thou wish 
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down 
With patriarchs of the infant world — with kings. 
The powerful of the earth- -the wise, the good, 
Fair forms, «and hoary seers of ages past, 
All in one mighty sepulchre. — The hills 
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun, — the vales 
Stretching in pensive quietness between ; 
The venerable woods — rivers that move 
In majesty, and the complaining brooks 
That make the meadows green ; and, poured rouml ail, 
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste, — 
Are but the solemn decorations all 
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, 
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, 
Are shining on the sad abodes of death, 
Through the still lapse of ages; All that tread 
The globe are but a handful to the tribes 
That slumber in its bosom. — Take the wings 
Of morning — and the Barcan desert pierce, 
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods 
Where roils the Oregan, and hears no sound, 
22 * 



m THE AMERICAN * [Lesson 111 

?ave his own (lashings— yet — the dead are there, 
4nd millions in those solitudes, since first 
The flight of Tears began, have laid them down 
(ii their last sleep— the dead reign there alone. — 
So shalt thou rest — and what if thou shalt fall 
Unnoticed by the living- — and no friend 
Take note of thy departure ? All that breathe 
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh 
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care 
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase 
His favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave 
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come. 
And make their bed with thee. As the long train 
Of ages glide away, the sons of men, 
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes 
In the full strength of years, matron, and maid, 
The bowed with age, the infant in the smiles 
And beauty of its innocent age cut off,— 
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side, 
By those, who in their turn shall follow them. 

So live, that when thy summons comes to join 
The innumerable caravan, that moves 
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall tak* 
His chamber in the silent halls of death, 
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, 
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 



LESSON CXVIL 

Charity to Orphans. — Sterne. 

f he* whom God hath blessed with the means, and for 
whom be has done more, in blessing them likewise with a 
disposition, have abundant reason to be thankful to him, as 
the- Author of every good gift, for the measure he hath 
bestowed to them of both : it is the refuge against the 
stormy wind and tempest, which he has planted in our 
hearts ; and the constant fluctuation of every thing in this 
world, forces all the sons and daughters of Adam to seek 
st* iter under it by turns. Guard it by entails and settle- 



Lesson 117.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 259 

merits as we will, the most affluent plenty may be stripped, 
and find all its worldly comforts, like so many withered 
leaves, dropping from us ; — the crowns of princes may be 
shaken ; and the greatest that ever awed the world have 
looked back and moralized upon the turn of the wheel. 

That which has happened to one, may happen to every 
man : and therefore that excellent rule of our Saviour, in 
acts of benevolence, as well as every thing else, should gor- 
ern us ; that whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, 
do ye also unto them. 

Hast thou ever lain upon the bed of languishing, or la- 
boured under a distemper which threatened thy life ? Call 
to mind thy sorrowful and pensive spirit at that time, and 
say, What ii was that made the thoughts of death so bitter ! 
— If thou ha«t children, — I affirm it, the bitterness of death 
lay theie ! If unbrought up, and unprovided for, What will 
become of them ? Where will they find a friand when I am 
gone ? Who will stand up for them, and plead their cause 
against the wicked 1 

Blessed God ! to thee, who art a father to the fatherless, 
and a husband to the widow, — I entrust them. 

Hast thou ever sustained any considerable shock in thy 
fortune 1 or, has the scantiness of thy condition hurried thee 
into great straits, and brought thee almost to distraction ? 
Consider what was it that spread a table in that wilderness 
of thought, — who made thy cup to overflow ? Was it not a 
friend of consolation who stepped in, saw thee embarrassed 
with tender pledges of thy love, and the partner of thy 
cares, — took them under his protection —Heaven ! thou wilt 
reward him for it ! — and freed thee from all the terrifying 
apprehensions ©f a parent's love ? 

— Hast thou — 

— But how shall I ask a question which must bring tears 
into so many eyes ? — Hast thou ever been wounded in a 
more affecting manner still, by the loss of a most obliging 
friend, — or been torn away from the embraces of a dear 
and promising child by the stroke of death 1 Bitter remem- 
brance ! nature droops at it — but nature is the same in all 
conditions and lots of life. — A child, thrust forth in an evil 
hour, without food, without raiment, bereft of instruction, 
and the means of its salvation, is a subject of more tender 
heart-aches, and will awaken every power of nature : — as 
we have felt for ourselves, — let us feel — for Christ's sake, 
let us feel for theirs. 



360 THE AMERICAN [Lesson IIS, 

LESSON CXVIII. 

Remarks on the perishable nature of poetical fame* — Jeffrey. 
[From a Review of Campbell's Specimens of British Poets.] 

Next to the impression of the vast fertility, compass, and 
beaut j of our English poetry, the reflection that recurs 
most frequently and forcibly to us, in accompanying Mr. 
Campbell through his wide survey, is the perishable nature 
of poetical fame, and the speedy oblivion that has overtaken 
so many of the promised heirs of immortality. Of near 
two hundred and fifty authors, whose works are cited in 
these volumes, by far the greater part of whom were cele- 
brated in their generation, there are not thirty who now 
enjoy any thing that can be called popularity— whose works 
are to be found in the hands of ordinary readers— in the 
shops of ordinary booksellers — or in the press for republi- 
cation. About fifty more may be tolerably familiar to men 
of taste or literature : — the rest slumber on the shelves of 
collectors, and are partially known to a few antiquaries and 
scholars. 

Now, the fame of a poet is popular, or nothing. He 
does not address himself, like the man of science, to the 
[earned, or those who desire to learn, but to all mankind; 
and his purpose being to delight and to be praised, necessa- 
rily extends to all who can receive pleasure, or join in ap- 
plause. It is strange, and somewhat humiliating, to see how 
great a proportion of those who had once fought their way 
successfully to distinction, and surmounted the rivalry of 
contemporary envy, have again sunk into neglect. "We have 
great deference for publick opinion : and readily admit that 
nothing but what is good can be permanently popular. — But 
while we would foster all that it bids to live, we would will- 
ingly revive much that it leaves to die. The very multipli- 
cation of works of amusement necessarily withdraws magjr 
from notice that deserve to be, kept in remembrance ; frr 
we should soon find it labour, and not amusement, if W3 
were obliged to make use of them all, or even to take all 
upon trial. 

As the materials of eniovment and instruction accumulate 
around us, more and more must thus be daily rejected and 
left to waste : for while our tasks lengthen, our lives remain 
as fihort as ever ; and the calls on our time multiply, while 
fed. tiFie itself is flying swiftly away. This superfluity and 



LessonllS.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. Wi 

abundance of our treasures, therefore, necessarily renders 
much of them worthless; and the veriest accidents may, in 
such a case, determine what part shall be preserved, and 
what thrown away and neglected. When an army is deci- 
mated, the very bravest may fall ; and many poets, worthy 
of eternal remembrance, have been forgotten, merely be- 
cause there was not room in our memories for all. 

By such a work as the (t Specimens, " however, this in- 
justice of fortune may be partly redressed — some small frag- 
ments of an immortal strain may still be rescued from obliv- 
ion— and a wreck of a name preserved, which time ap- 
peared to have swallowed up for ever. There is something 
pious, we think, and endearing, in the office of thus gather- 
ing up the ashes of renown that has passed away ; or rather, 
of calling back the departed life of a transitory glow, and 
efiablijig those great spirits which seemed to be laid for 
ever, still to draw a tear of pity, or a throb of admiration, 
from the hearts of a forgetful generation. The body of 
their poetry, probably, can never be revived ; but some 
sparks of its spirit may yet be preserved, in a narrower and 
feebler frame. 

When we look back upon the havock which two hundred 
years have thus made in the ranks of our immortals,— and, 
above all, when we refer their rapid disappearance to the 
quick succession of new competitors, and the accumulation 
of more good works than there is time to peruse,— we can- 
not help being dismayed at the prospect which lies before 
the writers of the present day. There never was an age so 
proliiick of popular poetry as that in which we now live ; — 
and as wealth, population, and education extend, the prod- 
uce is likely to go on increasing. 

The last ten years have produced, we think, an annual 
supply of about ten thousand lines of good staple poetry — 
poetry from the very first hands that we can boast of — that 
runs quickly to three or four large editions — and is as likely 
to be permanent as present success can make it. Now, if 
this goes on for a hundred years longer, what a task will 
await the poetical readers of 1919! Our living poets will 
then be nearly as old as Pope and Swift are at present — ■ 
but there will stand between them and that generation neari v 
ten times as much fresh and fashionable poetry as is now 
interposed between us and those writers : — and if Scott, and 
Byron, and Campbell, have already cast Pope and Swift a 
gx>d deal into the shade, in what form and dimensions are 



262 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 110. 

they themselves likely to be presented to the eyes of their 
great grand-children 1 

The thought, we own, is a little appalling ; and, we con- 
fess, we see nothing better to imagine than that they may 
find a comfortable place in some new collection of specimens 
— the centenary of the present publication. There — if the 
future editor have any thing like the indulgence and vene- 
ration for antiquity of his predecessor — there shall posterity 
still hang with rapture on the half of Campbell — and the 
fourth part of Byron — and the sixth of Scott — and the scat- 
tered tythes of Crabbe — and the three 'per cent, of Southey, 
— while some good-natured critick shall sit in our moulder- 
ing chair, and more than half prefer them to those by whom 
they have been superseded ! 

It is an hyperbole of good nature, however, we fear, to 
ascribe to them even those dimensions at the end of a cen- 
tury. After a lapse of 250 years, we are afraid to think of 
the space they may have shrunk into. We have no Shak- 
speare, alas ! to shed a never-setting light on his contempo- 
raries : — and if we continue to write and rhyme at the pres- 
ent rate for 209 years longer, there must be some new art 
of short-hand reading invented— or all reading must be giv- 
en up in despair. 



LESSON CXIX. 

The Head-Stont. — Wilson. 

The cofnn was let down to the bottom of the grave, the 
planks were removed from the heaped-up brink, the first 
rattling clods had struck their knell, the quick shrivelling 
was over, and the long, broad, skilfully cut pieces of turf 
were aptly joir*ed together, and trimly laid by the beating 
spade, so that the newest mound in the church-yard was 
scarcely distinguishable from those that were grown over 
by the undisturbed grass and daisies of a luxuriant spring. 
The burial was soon over ; and the party, with one consent- 
ing motion, having uncovered their heads, in decent rev- 
erence of the place and occasion, were beginning to sepa- 
rate, and about to leave the church-yard. 

Here some acquaintances, from distant parts of the 
parish, who had not had opportunity of addressing each 
other in the house that had belonged to the deceased, nor 



Lesson 119.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 263 

in the course of the few hundred yards that the little pro- 
cession had to move over from his bed to his grave, were 
shaking hands quietly but cheerfully, and inquiring after ihe 
welfare of each other's families. There, a small knot of 

neighbours were speaking, without exaggeration, of the 
respectable character which the de -ed had borne, and 
mentioning to one another little incidents of his life, some of 
them so remote as to be known only to the gray-headed per- 
sons of the group. While a few yards farther removed 
from the soot, were standing together parties who discussed 
ordinary concerns, altogether unconnected with the funeral, 
such as the state cf the markets, the promise of the season, 
or change of tenants: but still with a sobriety of manner 
and voice, that was insensibly produced by the influence of 
the simple ceremony now closed, by the quiet graves around, 

id the shadow of the spire and gray walls of tire house of 
God. 

Two men yet stood together at the head of the grave, 
with countenances of sincere, but unimpassioned grief. 
They were brothers, the only sons of him who had been 
burie And there was something in their situation that 
naturally kept the eyes of many directed upon them, for a 
long time, and more intently, than would have been the case, 
had there been nothing more observable about them than 
the common symptoms of a common sorrow. But these two 
brothers, w T ho were now standing at the head of their fa- 
ther's grave, had for some years been totally estranged from 
each other, and the only words that had passed between 
them, during ail that time, had been uttered within a few 
day? past, during the necessary preparations for the old 
man's funeral. 

3 deep and deadly quarrel was between these brothers, 
and neither of them could distinctly tell the cause of this 
unnatural estrangement. Perhaps dim jealousies of their 
father's favour — selfish thoughts that will sometimes force 
themselves into poor men's hearts, respecting temporal ex- 

etations— unaccommodating manners on both sides- 
taunting words that mean little when uttered, but which ran- 
kle and fester in remembrance — imagined opposition of in- 
terests, that, duly considered, would have been found one 
and the same — these, and many other causes, slight when 
single, but strong when rising up together in one baneful 
hand, had gradually but fatally infected their hearts, till 
at last they who in youth had been sefajooi separate, and 



264 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 119. 

truly attached, now met at market, and, miserable to say, 
at church, with dark and averted faces, like different clans- 
men during a feud. 

Surely if any thing could have softened their hearts to- 
wards each other, it mjist have been to stand silently, side 
by side, while the earth, stones, and clods, were falling 
down upon their father's coffin. And doubtless their hearts 
were so softened. But pride, though it cannot prevent the 
*ioly affections of nature from being felt, may prevent them 
from being shown ; and these two brothers stood there to- 
gether, determined not to let #ich other know the mutual 
tenderness that, in spite of them, was gushing up in their 
hearts, and teaching them the unofonfessed folly and wick- 
edness of their causeless quarrel. 

A head-stone had been prepared, and a person came for- 
ward to plant it. The elder brother directed him how to 
place it — a plain stone, with a sand-glass, skull, and cross- 
bones, chiselled not rudely, and a few words inscribed* 
The younger brother regarded the operation with a trou- 
bled eye, and said, loudly enough to be heard by several 
of the by-standers, " William, this was not kind in you ; you 
should have told me of this. I loved my father as well as 
you coald love him. You were the elder, and, it may be, 
the favourite son ; but 1 had a right in nature to have joined 
you in ordering this head-stone, had I not ?" 

During these words, the stone was sinking into the earth, 
and many persons who were on their way from the grave 
returned. For a while the elder brother said nothing, for 
he had a consciousness in his heart that he ousfht to have 
consulted his father's son m desi<min£ this last becomi- 
mark of affection and respect to his memory, so the sto? 
was planted in silence, and now stood erect, decently an 
simply among the other unostentatious memorials of ti 
humble dead. 

The inscription merely gave the name and age of t) 
deceased, and told that the stone had been erected " by 1 
affectionate sons." The sight of these words seemed to 
soften the displeasure of the angry man, and he said, some- 
what more mildly, " Yes, we were his affectionate sons, 
and since my name is on the stone, I am satisfied, broth* 
We have not drawn together kindly of late years, and r< 
haps never may ; but I acknowledge and respect yo 
worth ; and here, before our own friends, and before tl 
friends of our father, with my foot above his head, lexp. 1 



Lesstm 119.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 26& 

mv willingness to be on other and better terms with you, 
and if we cannot command love in our hearts, let us, at 
least, brother, bar out all unkindness." 

The minister, who had attended the funeral, and had 
something intrusted to him to say publickly before he left 
the church-yard, now came forward, and asked the elder 
brother, why he spake not regarding this matter. He saw 
that there was something of a"cold, and sullen pride rising 
up in his Ewnrtj> for not easily may any man hope to dis- 
miss from the chamber of his heart even the vilest guest, 
if once cherished there. With a solemn, and almost severs 
air, he looked upon the relenting man,, and then, changing 
his countenance into serenity, said gentW, 

Behold how good a thing it is, 

And how becoming well, 
Together such as brethren are, 

In unitv to dwell. 

The time, the place, and this beautiful expression of a 
natural sentiment, quite overcame a heart, in which many 
kind, if not warm, affections dwelt ; and the man thus ap- 
pealed to, bowed down his head and wept. " Give me 
your hand, brother ;" and it was given, while a murmur of 
satisfaction arose from all present, and all hearts felt kind" 
lier and more humanely towards each other. 

As the brothers stood fervently, but composedly, grasping 
each other's hand, in the little hollow that lay between the 
grave of their mother, long since dead, and of their father, 
whose shroud was happily not yet still from the fall of dust 
to dust, the minister stood beside them with a pleasant 
countenance, and said, " \ must fulfil the promise I made 
to your father on his death-bed. I must read to you a few 
words which hi* hand wrote at an hour when his tongue 
denied its office. I must not say that you did your duty to 
your old father ; for did he not often beseech you, apart 
from one another, to be reconciled, for your own sakes as 
Christians, for his sake, and for the sake of the mother who 
bare you, and, Stephen, who died that you might be born 1 
When the palsy struck him for the last time, you were both 
absent, nor was it your fault that you were not beside the 
old man when he died. 

"As lon£ as sense continued with him here, did he think 
af you two, and of you two alone. Tears were in his eves ; 
1 saw them there, and on his cheek too, when no breath 
oame from his lips. Bat of this no more. He died with 

23 



286 THE AMERICAN [lesson 120. 

this paper in his hand ; and he made me know that I was to 
read it to you over his grave. I now obey him. * My sons, 
if you will let my bones lie quiet in the grave, near the dust 
of your mother, depart not from my burial till, in the name 
of God and Christ, you promise to love one another as you 
used to do. Dear boys, receive my blessing.' " 

Some turned their heads away to hide the tears thi 
needed not to be hidden, — and when the brothers had re- 
leased each other from a long and sobbing embrace, many 
went up to them, and, in a single word or two, expressed 
their joy at this perfect reconcilement. The brothers them= 
selves walked away, from the church-yard, arm in arm with 
the minister to the manse. On the following Sabbath, they 
were seen sittiiig with their families in the same pew, and 
it was observed, that they read together off the same Bible 
when the minister gave out the text, and that they sang 
together, taking hold of the same psalm-book. The same 
psaJm was sung, (given out at their own request,) of which 
one verse had been repeated at their father's grave ; a 
larger sum than usual was on that Sabbath found in the 
plate for the poor, for Love and Charity are sisters. And 
ever after, both during the peace and the troubles of this 
life, the hearts of the brothers were as one, and in nothing 
were they divided. 



LESSON CXX. 

Lines written in a Highland glen.— Wilson. 

To whom belongs this valley fair, 
That sleeps beneath the filmy air, 

Even like a living thing ? 
Silent-— as infant at the breast — 
Save a still sound that speaks of rest, 

That streamlet's murmuring ! 

The heavens appear to love thi& vale ; 
Here clouds with unseen motion sail, 

Or mid the silence lie ! 
By that blue arch, this beauteous ear f h» 
id evening's hour of dewy mirth., 

Seems bound unto the sky. 



>s a 121.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 207 

Oh ! that this lovely vale were mine — 
Then from glad youth to calm decline, 

My years would gently glide ; 
Hope would rejoice in endless dreams, 
And Memory's oft-returning gleams 

By peace be sanctified. 

There would unto my soul be given, 
From presence of that gracious Heaven, 

A piety sublime ; 
And thoughts would come of mystlck mood, 
To make, in this deep solitude, 

Eternity of Time ! 

And did I ask to whom belonged 

This vale ?— I feel that I have wronged 

Nature's most gracious soul ! 
She spreads her glories o'er the earth, 
And ail her children from their birth 

Are joint heirs of the whole ! 

Yea ! lonjr as Nature's humblest child 
Hath kept her temple undefiled 

By sinful sacrifice, 
Earth's fairest scenes are all his own, 
He is a monarch, and his throne 

Is built amid the skies. 



LESSON CXXI. 

The young Herdsman. — Wordsworth. 

From early childhood, even, as hath been said, 
From his sixth vear. he had been sent abroad 
In summer to tend herds : such was his task 
Thenceforward till the latter dav of vouth. 
O, then, what soul was his, when on the tops 
Of the high mountains, he beheld the sun 
Rise up and bathe the world in light ! He looked-— 
Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth, 
And ocean's liquid mass beneath him lay 
In gladness and deep joy. The clouds were touched, 
And ir tiieii silent faces did he read 



2QS THE AMERICAN [Lesson 121. 

Unutterable love. Sound needed none, 

Nor any voice of joy ; his spirit drank 

The spectacle ; sensation, soul, and form, 

4J1 melted into him ; they swallowed up 

:lis animal being ; in them did he live, 

And by them did he live ; they were his life. 
In such access of mind, in such high hour 
Of visitation from the living God, 
Thought was not ; in enjoyment it expired. 
No thanks he breathed ; he proffered no request; 
Rapt into still communion that transcends 
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise, 
His mind was a thanksgiving to the Power 
That made him ;- — it was blessedness and love ! 

A Herdsman, on the lonely mountain tops 
Such intercourse was his ; and in this sort 
SVas his existence oftentimes possessed. 
Oh, then, how beautiful, how bright appeared 
The written promise ! He had early learned 
To reverence the Volume which displays 
The mystery, the life that cannot die : 
But, in the mountains did he feel his faith ; 
There did he see the writing ; — -all things there 
Breathed immortality, revolving life, 
And greatness still revolving ; — -infinite ! 
There littleness was not ; — the least of things 
Seemed infinite ; and there his spirit shaped 
Her prospects ; nor did he believe, — he saw. 
What wonder if his being thus became 
Sublime and comprehensive ! low desires, 
Low thoughts had there no place ; yet was his heart 
Lowly ; for he was meek in gratitude, 
Oft as he called those ecstasies to mind, 
And whence they flowed ; — and from them he acquired 
Wisdom which works through patience ; thence he learned, 
in many a calmer hour of sober thought, 
To look on nature with an humble heart, 
Self-questioned where he did not understand, 
And with a reverential eys of love. — 



Lesson 122. j FIRST CLASS BOOK. 283 

LESSON CXXII 

The Shipwreck.— Wilson. 

— Her giant form 
O'er wrathful surge, through blackening storm, 
Majestically calm, would go 
Mid the deep darkness wl ite as snow ! 
But gentler now the small waves glide 
Like playful lambs o'er a mountain's side. 
So stately her bearing, so proud her array, 
The main she will traverse for ever and aye. 
Many ports will exuit at the gleam of her mast ! 
—Hush ! hush ! thou vain dreamer ! this hour is her last. 
Five hundred souls in one instant of dread 
Are hurried o'er the deck ; 
And fast the miserable ship 
Becomes a lifeless wreck. 
Her keel hath struck on a hidden rock, 
Her planks are torn asunder, 
And down come her masts with a reeling shocJk f 
And a hideous crash like thunder. 
Her sails, that gladdened late the skies, 
Are draggled in the brine, 

And her pendant that kissed the fair moonshine 
Down many a fathom lies. 
Her beauteous sides, whose rainbow hues 
Gleamed softly from below, 
And flung a warm and sunny flush 
O'er the wreaths of murmuring snow, 
To the coral rocks are hurrying down, 
To sleep amid colours as bright as their own. 

Oh ! many a dream was in the ship 
An hour before her death ; 
And sights of home with sighs disturbed 
The sleeper's long-drawn breath. 
Instead of the murmur of the sea, 
The sailor heard the humming tree. 
Alive through all its leaves, 
The hum of the spreading sycamore 
That grows before his cottage-door. 
And the swallow's song in the eaves. 
His arms enclosed a blooming boy, 
Who listened with tears of sorrow and joy 
23 * 



2?0 THE AMERICAN [Lesson I2& 

To the dangers his father had passed ; 
And his wife — by turns she wept and smiled, 
As she looked on the father of her child 
Returned to her heart at last. 
— He wakes at the vessel's sudden roll, 
And the rush of waters is in his soul. 
Astounded the reeling deck he paces, 
Mid hurrying forms and ghastly faces ; — 
The whole ship's crew are there. 
Wailings around and overhead, 
Brave spirits stupified or dead, 
And madness and despair. — 
Now is the ocean's bosom bare, 
Unbroken as the floating air ; 
The ship hath melted quite away, 
Like a struggling dream at break of day. 
No image meets my wandering eye, 
But the new-risen sun and the sunny sky. 
Though the night-shades are gone, yet a vapour dull 
• Bedims the waves so beautiful ; 
While a low and melancholy moan 
Mourns for the glory that hath flown. 



LESSON CXXIII. 

Dr. Slop and Obadiah, meeting. — -Sterne. 

Imagine to yourself, a little squat, uncourtly figure of a 
Dr. Slop, of about four feet and a half, perpendicular height, 
with a breadth of back, and a sesquipedality of belly, which 
might have done honour to a sergeant in the horse-guards. 

Such were the outlines of Dr. Slop's figure, which — if you 
have read Hogarth's analysis of beauty, (and if you have 
not, I wish you would;) — you must know, may as certain- 
ly be caricatured, and conveyed to the mind by three strokes 
as three hundred. 

Imagine such a one, — -for such, I say, were the outlines 
of Dr. Slop's figure, coming slowly along, foot by foot, 
waddling through the dirt upon the vertebra) of a little 
diminutive pony, of a pretty colour — but of strength— 
alack ! scarce able to 'iave made an amble of it, under such 
a fardel, had the roaas been in an ambling condition. — They 
wcie not. — Jmagirrj to yourself, Obadiah mounted upon a 



Lesson 123.] FIRST CLASS *iOOR. 271 

strong monster of a coach-horse, pricked into a full gal- 
lop, and making all practicable speed the adverse way. 

Pray, Sir, let me interest you a moment in this description. 

Had Dr. Slop beheld Obadiah a mile off, posting in a 
narrow lane directly towards him, at that monstrous rate, — 
splashing and plunging like a devil through thick and thin 
as he approached, would not such a phenomenon, with such 
a vortex of mud and water moving along with it, round its 
axis, — have been a subject of juster apprehension to Dr. 
Slop in his situation, than the worst of XVhistorfs comets 1 
— To say nothing of the nucleus ; that is, of Obadiah and 
the coach-horse. — In my idea, the vortex alone of them 
was enough to have involved and carried, if not the doctor, 
at least the doctor's pony, quite away with it. 

What then do you think must the terrour and hydropho- 
bia of Dr. Slop have been when you read (which you are 
just going to do) that he was advancing thus warily along 
towards Shandy Hall, and had approached within sixty 
yards of it, and within five yards of a sudden turn, made by 
an acute angle of the garden wall, — and in the dirtiest part 
of a dirty lane, — when Obadiah and his coach-horse turned 
the corner, rapid, furious,— pop,— -full upon him ! — Nothing, 
I think, in nature can be supposed more terrible than such a 
rencounter, — so imprompt ! so ill prepared to stand the 
shock of it as Dr. Slop was ! 

What could Dr. Slop do ? -he crossed himself Pugh ! 

— -but the doctor, Sir, was a Papist. — No matter ; he had 
better have kept held of the pommel. — He had so ; nay, as 
it happened, he had better have done nothing at all ; for in 

crossing himself he let go his whip, and in attempting 

to save his whip between his knee and his saddle's skirt, as 
it slipped, he lost his stirrup, — in losing which he lost his 
seat ; and in the multitude of all these losses (which, by the 
hy, show what little advantage there is in crossing) the 
unfortunate doctor lost his presence of mind. So that with- 
out waiting for Obadiali's onset, he left his pony to its 
destiny, tumbling off it diagonally, something in the style 
and manner of a pack of wool, and without any other con- 
sequence from the fall, save that of being left (as it would 
have been) with the broadest part of him sunk about twelve 
inches deep in the mire. 

Obadiah pulled off his cap twice to Dr. Slop ;— once as he 
was falling, and then again when he saw him seated. — Ill- 
timed complaisance ! — had not the fellow better have stopped 



272 THE AMERICAN [Lessen 124 

his horse, and got off, and helped him ? Sir, he did all that 
his situation would allow ; — but the momentum of the coach- 
horse was so great, that Obadiah could not do it all at once ; 
he rode in a circle three times round Dr. Slop, before he 
couid fully accomplish it any how ; and at last, when he did 
stop the beast, it was done with such an explosion of mud, 
that Obadiah had better have been a league off. In short, 
never was a Dr. Slop so beluted, and so transubstantiated, 
since that affair came into fashion. 



LESSON CXXIV 

Heroick Self-Denial. — Literary Gazette. 

Dark burned the candle on the table at which the student 
©f divinity was reading in a large book : " It all avails noth- 
ing, and nothing will ever come of it," said he fretfully tc 
himself, and closed the volume, " I shall never become a 
preacher, I may study and tire myself as much as I will ! 
The first sermon, in which I shall certainly hesitate, will 
without doubt render all this trouble vain ; for do not I 
myself know the timidity and the peculiar misfortune which 
accompany me in every undertaking?" 

He now took from his dusty shelves a MS. and set him- 
self down to read : it was an account of Rome, and particu- 
larly of St. Peter's Church, which was described with all 
the enthusiasm of an artist. He suddenly rose, and clap- 
ping his hands together, said with transport, " O heaven, I 
must certainly see all this myself!" 

But how ? one does not get to Rome for nothing ; the 
finances of the good student were in a very bad condition, 
and however carefully he examined and fumbled through 
all his pockets, he collected only a few pence, which cer- 
tainly were not sufficient to pay his expenses to Rome. He 
went to bed quite restless, and even forgot to put out his 
candle, which at other times he never omitted ; but during 
this uneasy night, he thought of means to accomplish his 
purpose. The next morning he fetched an old-clothes-man, 
and sold every thing 1 except the dress he had on, and a sin- 
g\e shirt for change which he put in his pocket. 

The sum, which he got from the greedy Israelite for all 



Lesson 124.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 273 

he had, was not much, and yet honesty, a virtue which lie 
possessed in the highest degree, demanded of him to pay 
his lew small debts. After he had performed this duty in 
the most conscientious manner, he counted up his remaining 
property, and was pleased on finding himself the possessor 
of live dollars, because he hoped with this sum, and with 
strict frugality, to travel to Rome and back again. 

He now, therefore, began his journey in the highest spirits, 
and wandered over fertile Germany with heartfelt joy, at 
the beauties of nature in his beloved country. How did 
Italy's mild and balsam'ick airs refresh him ! how did he 
indulge all his senses in the contemplation of the delightful 
scenes that crowded on him from every side ! and how did 
his heart thrill with bliss when he beheld the towers of Rome 
shining in the misty distance ! Long did he stand gazing and 
enraptured, and a tear of joy stood in his eyes ; he walked 
on, lost, in thought, and towards evening he reached a hill 
at the foot of which the Queen of Cities, illumined with 
gold and purple, by the blush of the evening sky, lay in 
the most glorious splendour. He seated himself upon the 
summit of the hill, and turned his eyes constantly, with the 
most heartfelt longing, towards the object of his secret 
wishes. 

After his soul had satiated itself with this delightful pic- 
tare, he at length thought of examining his stock of money, 
that he might see how much he could spare in Rome in 
examining the captivating wonders, without depriving him- 
self of the necessary means for his journey back. When 
he had counted it, he found that he had just spent the half 
of it, viz. two dollars and a half. Of course he had been 
frequently obliged, in the pursuit of his journey, to beg a 
night's lodging and dinner from the clergymen on the n • . 
to be able to reach so far upon so trifling a sum, but ne\ 
did he receive money or ask alms. If, then, he would 
turn to his native country without begging- he must 
see Rome, and he had, in fact, the heroick seJf-des 
form this resolution on the spot. He, therefore, ren 
for that night on this hill, saw the moon and stars ris 
the much-beloved Rome ; he listened with silent dehglii to 
the chime of the church bells in the stillness of the even*. 
ing, and when the morning sun, rising in the east, ting< 
the domes and towers of ihe city with red, he "cast one 
]onging,lingering look behind/' and began in silent n :g 
Ins journey heme. 



274 THE AMERICAN [Lesson J^o. 

Whatever instances of heroick self-denial history may 
record, it can produce do greater than that which this ob- 
scure individual exercised in the simplicity of his heart. 

He returned home with his longing gratified, and employ- 
ed his last penny in paying the boatman who ferried him 
over to his native island. He renounced the studv of di- 
vinity, which he hated, and entered into the service of a 
peasant, with whom he continued for a whole year, at the 
end of which he employed his wages which he had saved, 
on a journey to the East, whither, impelled by the love of 
travelling, he set out upon a pilgrimage. 



LESSON CXXV. 

On the waste of life. — Franklin. 

Amergus was a gentleman of good estate ; he was bred to 
no business, and could not contrive how to waste his hours 
agreeably ; he had no relish for any of the proper works of 
life, nor any taste for the improvement of the mind; he 
spent generally ten hours of the four-and-twenty in bed ; he 
dozed away tw r o or three more on his couch ; and as many 
were dissolved in good liquor every evening, if he met with 
company of his own humour. — Thus he made a shift to 
wear oft ten years of his life since the paternal estate fell 
into his hands. 

One evening as he was musing alone, his thoughts hap 
pened to take a most unusual turn, for they cast a glance 
backward, and he began to reflect on his manner of life. 
He bethought himself what a number of living beings had 
been made a sacrifice to support his carcass, and how much 
corn and wine had been mingled with these offerings ; and 
he set himself to compute what he had devoured since he 
came to the agre of man. ' About a dozen feathered crea- 
tures, small and great, have, one week with another,' said 
he, 4 given up their lives to prolong mine, which, in ten 
years, amounts to at least six thousand. Fifty sheep have 
been sacrificed in a year, with half a hecatomb of black 
cattle, that I might have the choicest parts offered weekly 
upon my tab!e. 

Thus a thousand beasts, out of the flock and the herd, have 
been slain in ten years' time to feed me, besides what the 
forest has supplied me with. Many hundreds of fishes have, 



Lesson 126.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 275 

in all their variety, been robbed of life for my repast, and 
of the smaller fry some thousands. A measure of corn 
would hardly suffice me fine flour enough for a month's pro- 
vision, and this arises to above six score bushels ; and many 
hogsheads of wine and other liquors have "passed through 
this body of mine — this wretched strainer of meat and 
drink ! And what have I done all this time for God and 
man ? What a vast profusion of good things upon a useless 
life and a worthless liver ? 

There is not the meanest creature among all those which 
I have devoured, but hath answered the end of its creation 
better than I. It was made to support human nature, and 
it has done so. Every crab and oyster I have eat, and 
every grain of corn I have devoured, hath filled up its place 
in the rank of beings with more propriety and honour than 
I have done. Oh, shameful waste of life and time !" 

In short, he carried on his moral reflections witk so just 
and severe a force of reason, as constrained him to change 
his whole course of life ; to break off his follies at once, and 
to apply himself to gain some useful knowledge, when he 
was more than thirty years of age. He lived many follow- 
ing years with the character of a worthy man and an excel- 
lent Christian ; he died with a peaceful conscience, and the 
tears of his country were dropped upon his tomb. 

The world, that knew the whole series of his life, were 
amazed at the mighty change. They beheld him as a won- 
der of reformation, while he himself confessed and adored 
the Divine power and mercy which had transformed him 
from a brute to a man. But this was a single instance, and 
we may almost venture to write miracle upon it. Are there 
not numbers, in this degenerate age, whose lives thus run tc 
litter waste, without the least tendency to usefulness ? 



LESSON CXXVI. 



The young Minstrel 



-Bbattie. 



Lo ! where the stripling, rapt in wonder, roves 
Beneath the precipice overhung with pine, 

And sees, on high, amidst the encircling proves. 
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine: 



276 THE A ME } J AJ* [Lesson 126, 

While waters, woods, and winds, in concert join, 
And echo bears the chorus to the skies. 

Would Edwin this majestick scene resign 
For aught the huntsman's puny craft supplies 1 
Ah ! no : he belter knows great Nature's charms to prize. 

And oft he traced the uplands, to survey, 

When o'er the sky advanced the kindling dawn, 

The crimson cloud, blue main* and mountain gray, 
And lake, dim-gleaming on the smoky lawn : 
Far to the west, the long, long vale withdrawn, 

Where twilight loves to linger for a while ; 
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn, 

And villager abroad at early toil. 
But, lo ! the Sun appears ! and heaven, earth, ocean, smile. 

And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb, 

When all in mist the world below was lost : — 

What dreadful pleasure ! there to stand sublime, 
Like shipwrecked mariner on desert coast, 
And see the enormous waste of vapour, tossed 

In billows lengthening to the horizon round, 

Now scooped in gulfs, with mountains now embossed; — 

And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound, 
Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound ! 

in truth, he was a strange and wayward wight, 
Fond of each gentle, and each dreadful scene : 

In darkness, and in storm, he took delight ; 
Nor less, than when on ocean-wave serene 
The southern sun diffused his dazzling sheen. 

Even sad vicissitude amused his soul : 

And if a sl^h would sometimes intervene, 

And down his cheek a tear of pity roll, 
A sigh, a tear so sweet, he wished not to control. 

w O, ye wild groves, O, where is now your bloom !" 

(The Muse interprets thus his tender thought) 
u Your flowers, your verdure, and your balmy gloom, 

Of late so grateful in the hour of drought ! 

Why do the birds, that song and rapture brought 
To all your bowers, their mansions now forsake ? 

Ah ! why has fickle chance this ruin wrought ? 
For now the storm howls mournful through the brake, 
Acid the dead foliage ilies in many a shapeless flake. 



Lesson 126.1 FIRST CLASS BOOK. 977 

-j 

Where now the rill, melodious, pure, and u>oi, 

And meads, with life, and mirth, and beauty crowned ! 
Ah! see, the unsightly slime, and sluggish pool 

Have all the solitary vale embrowned; 

Fled each fair form, and mute each melting sound ; 
The raven croaks forlorn on naked sprav ; 

And hark! the river, bursting e\ery mound, 
Down the vale thunders, and with wasteful sway 
Uproots the grove, and rolk the shattered rocks away. 

" Ye-i such the destiny of all on earth : 

So flourishes and fades majestick man. 
Fair is th^ bud his vernal morn brings forth. 

And fostering gales awhile the nursling fan. 

O smile, ve heavens, serene ; ve mildews wan,* 
Ye blighting whirlwinds spare his balmy prime, 

Nor lessen of his life the little span. 
Borne on the swift and silent winsrs of Time, 
Old age comes on apace to ravage all the clime. 

" And be it so. — Let those deplore their doom 
Whose hopes still grovel in this dark sojourn : 

But iofty souls, who look beyond the tomb, 

Can smile at Fate, and wonder how they mourn. 
Shall Spring to these sad scenes no more return ? 

Is yonder wave the sun's eternal bed 1 

Soon shall the orient with new lustre burn, 

And Spring shall soon her vital influence shed, 
Again attune the grove, again adorn the mead. 






?haJl I be left forgotten, in the dust, 
When Fate, relenting, lets the flower revive t 
Shall Nature's voice, to man alone uniust, 

Bid him, though doomed to perish, hope to live f 
Is it for this fair Virtue oft must strive 
Witi* disappointment, penury, and pain 1 

No : Heaven's immortal spring shall yet arrive, 
And man's majestick beauty bloom again 
Bright thro' the eternal year of love's triumphant reign. 



?* 



* Though the author evidently intends this word to rhyme with man 
and span, yet the best authorities require it to be pronounced like the 
first syllable of ican-ton 

24 



278 THE AMERICAN [Lesson VX 

LESSON CXXVIL 

Pairing Time anticipated. — Cowper. 

I shall not ask Jean Jaques Rousseau* 
If birds confabulate or no ; 
*Tis clear that they were always able 
To hold discourse, at least in fable ; 
And even the child who knows no better, 
Than to interpret by the letter, 
The story of a cock and bull, 
Must have a most uncommon skull. 

It chanced, then, on a winter's day, 
But warm and bright and calm as May, 
The birds, conceiving a design, 
To forestall sweet St. Valentine, 
In many an orchard, copse, and grove, 
Assembled on atfairs of love, 
And, with much twitter, and much chatter, 
Beofan to agitate the matter. 
At length a bulfinch who could boast 
More years and wisdom than the most, 
Entreated, opening wide his beak, 
A moment's liberty to speak ; 
And, silence publickly enjoined, 
Delivered briefly thus his mind. 

" My friends ! be cautious how ye treat 
The subject upon which we meet ; 
I fear we shall have winter yet." 

A finch, whose tongue knew no control, 
With golden wing and satin poll, 
A last vear's bird, who ne'er had tried 
What marriage means, thus pert replied. 

44 Methinks the gentleman," quoth she, 
" Opposite in the apple-tree, 
By his good will would keep us single 
Till vonder heaven and earth shall mingle, 

* it was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that 
all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animals, should be with- 
held from children, is being only vehicles of deception. But what 
ehiid was ever deceived by them, or can be, against the evidence of hk 
own seas«s ? 



Lc^on 138.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 2?9 

Or, (which is likelier to befall) 
Till death exterminate us ail. 
F marry without more ado : — 

My dear Dick Redcap, what say you V' 

T3ick heard, and tweeclling, ogling 1 ; bridling, 
Turning short round, strutting and sideling, 
Attested, glad, his approbation 
Of an immediate conjugation. 
Their sentiments, so well expressed, 
Influenced mightily the rest : 
All paired, and each pair built a nest. 

But, though the birds were thus in haste, 
The leaves came on not quite so fast ; 
And destiny, that sometimes bears 
An aspect stern on man's affairs, 
Not altogether smiled on theirs. 
The wind, — of late breathed gently forth-—* 
Now shifted east, and east by north ; 
Bare trees and shrubs but ill* you know, 
Could shelter them from rain or snow : 
Stepping into their nests, they paddled, 
Themselves were chilled, their eggs were addled : 
Soon, every father bird and mother 
Grew quarrelsome, and pecked each other, 
Parted without the least regret, 
Except that they had ever met, 
And learned, in future to be wiser, 



r 



Than to neglect a good adviser. 

MORAL. 

Misses ! the tale that I relate 
This lesson seems to carrv — 

Choose not alone a proper mate, 
But proper time to marry. 



LESSON CXXVIH. 

FingaVs Battle with the Spirit of Loda.— Ossian. 

Morning rose in the east ; the blue waters rolled in light. 
Fingal* bade his sails to rise, and the winds came rustling 

* u It may not be improper here to observe, that the accent eight 
always to be placed on the last syllable of Fingai:'' — M^l'krfpui^sntiif 
t* Fingal} 2>. I. 



280 THE AMEItK f [Laso7i ;.;% 

from their hills. Inistore rose to sight, and Carrie-thma's 
mossy towers. But the sign of distress was on their i<\ >: 
the green flame edged with smoke. The king of Morven 
struck his breast : he assumed, at once, his spear. His 
darkened brow bends forward to the coast : he looks hack 
to the Jagging winds. His hair is disordered on his back. 
The silence of the king" is terrible. 

Night came down on the sea : Rotha's bay received the 
ship. A rock bends along the coast- with all its echoing 
wood. On the top is the circle of Loda, and the mossy 
stone of powder. A narrow plain spreads beneath, covered 
with grass and -aged trees, which the midnight winds, in 
their wrath, had torn from the shaggy rock. The blue 
course of a stream is there: and the lonely blast of ocean 
pursues the thistle's beard. The flame of three oaks arose : 
the feast is spread around : but the soul of the king is sad 
for Oamc-thura's battling chief. 

The wan cold moon rose in the east. Sleep descended 
on the youths. Their blue helmets glitter to the beam : the 
fading fire decays. But sleep did not rest on the king : he 
rose in the midst of his arms, and slowly ascended the hill 
to behold the flame of Sarno's tower. 

The flame was dim and distant ; the moon hid her red 
face in the east. A blast came from the mountain, and 
bore on its wings, the spirit of Loda. He came to his place 
in his terrours, and he shook his dusky spear. His eyes 
appear like flames in his dark face ; and his voice is like 
distant thunder. Fingal advanced with the spear cf his 
strength, and raised his voice on high. 

" Son of night, retire : call thy winds and fly : Why dost 
thou come to my presence with thy shadowy arms 1 Do I 
fear thy gloomy form, dismal spirit of Loda ? Weak is thy 
shield of clouds : feeble is that meteor, thv sword. The 
blast rolls them together, and thou thyself dost vanish. Fly 
from my presence, son of night ! call thy winds and fly !' 

" Dost thou force me from my place*" replied the hollow 
voice : " The people bend before me I turn the battle in 
the field of the valiant. I look on the nations and they 
vanish : my nostrils pour the blast of death. I come abroad 
on the winds : the tempests are before my face. But my 
dwelling is calm, above the clouds : the fields of my rest 
are pleasant." 

" Dwell then in thy calm field," said Fingal, " and let 
ComhaTs son be fo~not. Do my steps ascend, from my hills, 



Lesson 129.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 

into thy peaceful plains ? Do I meet thee, with a speai, on 
thy cloud, spirit of dismal Loda 1 Why, then, dost thou 
frovvii on Fingal ? Or shake thine airy spear ? But thou 
frowaest in vain : I never iled from mighty men. And shall 
die sons of the wind frighten the king of Morven ! No: lie 
knows the weakness of their arms." 

" Fly to thy land," replied the form : M receive the wind 
an 1 ily. The blasts are in the hollow of my hand : the 
course of the storm is mine. The king of Sora is my son, 
he bends at the stone of my power. His battle is around 
Carrie-thura ; and he will prevail. Fly to thy land, son of 
Comhal, or feel my flaming wrath." 

He lifted high his shadowy spear ; and bent forward his 
terrible height. But the king, advancing, drew his sword ; 
the blade of dark-brown Luno. The gleaming path of the 
steel winds through the gloomy ghost. The form fell 
shapeless into air, like a column of smoke, which the stalT 
of the boy disturbs, as it rises from the halt-extinguished 
furnace. 

The spirit of Loda shrieked, as, rolled into himself, he 
rose on the wind. Inistore shook at the lound. The waves 
heard it on the deep : they stopped, in their course, with 
fear : the companions of Finiral started, at once ; and took 
their heavy spears. They missed the king; they rose with 
rage : all their arms resound. 

The moon came forth in the east. The kino: returned in 
the gleam of his arms. The joy of his youths was great ; 
their souls settled, as a sea from a storm. Ullin raised the 
song of gladness. The hills of Inistore rejoiced. The 
flame of the oak arose ; and the tales of heroes are told. 



LESSON CXX1X. 

Death of Carthon*— Ossi art's address to the Sun. — The sam«. 

The battle ceased along the field, for the bard had sung 
the song of peace. The chiefs gathered round the falling 
Carthon, and heard his words, with sighs. Silent they 
leaned on their spears, while Balclutha's hero spoke. His 
hair sighed in the wind, and his words were feeble. 

" King of Morven," Carthon said, 4i I fall in the midst 
of my course. A foreign tomb receives, in youth, the last 
o£ Eeuthamir's race. Darkness dwells in Balclutha : and 

CM * 



288 THE AMERICAN [Lesson YZl). 

the shadows of grief in Crathmo. But raise my remem- 
brance on the banks of Lora, where my father? dwelt. 
Perhaps the husband of Moira will mourn over his fallen 
Carthon.' 1 His words reached the heart of Clessammor : 
he fell, in silence, on his son. The host stood darkened 
around: no voice is on the plains of Lora. Night came, 
and the moon, from the east, looked on the mournful field : 
but still the j stood, like a silent grove that lifts its head on 
Gormal, when the loud winds are laid, and dark autumn is 
mi the Tilain. 

Three days they mourned over Carthon : on the fourth 
his father died. In the narrow plain of the rock they lie ; 
and a dim ghost defends their tomb. There lovely Mojna 
is often seen ; when the sun-beam darts on the rock, and all 
around is dark. There she is seen, Malvina, but not like 
the daughters of the hill. Her robes are from the stran- 
ger's land ; and she is still alone. 

Fingal was sad for Carthon ; he desired his bards to mark 
the. da v. when shadowv autumn returned. And often did 
they mark the day, and sing the hero's praise. *♦ Who 
conies so dark from ocean's roar, like autumn's shadowy 
cloud ? Death is trembling in his hand ! his eves are flames 
of fire ! Who roars along dark Lora's heath 1 Who but 
Carthon king of swords 1 The people fall ! see ! how he 
strides, like the sullen ghost of Morven ! But there he lies, 
a goodly oak, which sudden blasts overturned ! When shalt 
thou rise, Balclutha's joy ! lovely car-borne Carthon ? Who 
comes so dark from ocean's roar, like autumn's shadowy 
cloud V Such were the words of the bards, in the day of 
their mourning: I have accompanied their voice ; and added 
To their song. My soul has been mournful for Carthon, he 
fell in the davs of his valour : and thou, O Clessammor ! 
where is thy dwelling in the air ? Has the youth forgot his 
wound 1 And iiies he, on the clouds, with thee ? I feel the 
sun, O Malvina; leave me to my rest. Perhaps they may 
come to my dreams ; I think I hear a feeble voice. The 
beam of heaven delights to shine on the grave of Carthon : 
[ feel it warm around. 

O thou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fa- 
thers ? Whence are thy beams, O sun ! thy everlasting 
light ? Thou comest forth, in thy awful beauty, and the 
stars hide themselves in the sky; the moon, cold and pale, 
sinks in the western wave. But thou thyself mo vest alone : 
wh© can be a companion of thy course 1 The oaks of the 



Lesson 130.} FIRST CLASS BOOK. 288 

mountains fall : the mountains themselves decay /vdth y«ars; 
the ocean shrinks and grows igain : the moon herself is lost 
in heaven; hut thcu art for < er the same, rejoicing in the 
brightness of thy course. When the world is dark with 
tempests; when thunder rolls, and lightning flies; thou 
look est in thy beauty, from the clouds, and laughest at the 
utorin. But to Ossian, thou lookest in vain ; for he beholds 
thy beams no more; whether -thy yellow hair flows on the 
eastern clouds, or thou trembiest at the gates of the west. 
But thou art perhaps, like me, for a season, and thy years 
will have an end. Thou shalt sleep in thy clouds, careless 
of the voice of the morning. Exult then, O sun, in the 
strength of thy youth ! Age is dark and unlovely ; it is like 
the glimmering Iio;ht of the moon, when it shines through 
broken clouds, and the mist is on the hills ; the blast of the 
north is on the plain, the traveller shrinks in the midst of 
his journey. 



LESSON CXXX. 

Apostrophe to the Sun. — J. G. Fercival. 

Centre of light and energy ! thy way 

Is through the unknown void ; thou hast thy throne, 
Morning, and evening, and at noon of day, 

Far in the blue, untended and alone : 

Ere the first-wakened airs of earth had blown, 
On didst thou march, triumphant in thy light ; 

Then didst thou send thy glance, which still hath flowa 
Wide through the never-ending worlds of night, 
And yet thy full orb burns with flash unquenched and bright 
*# * # * # * * # 

Thy path is high in heaven ;— we cannot gaze 

On the intense of light that girds thy cai ; 
There is a crown of glory in thy rays, 

Which bears thy pure divinity afar 

To mingle with the equal light of star ; 
For thou, so vast to us, art, in the whole, 

One of the sparks of night, that fire the air; 
And, as around thy centre planets roll, 
S $ thou, too, Last thy path around the Central Soul. 



*84 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 130. 

Thou lookcst on the earth, and then it smiles ; 

Thy light is hid and all things droop and mourn ; 
Laughs the wide sea around her hudding isles, 

When through their heaven thy changing car is borne; 

Thou whecPst away thy flight, — the woods are shorn 
Of all their waving locks, and storms awake ; 

All, that was once so beautiful, is torn 
By the wild winds which plough the lonely lake, 
And in their maddening rush the crested mountains shake 

The earth lies buried in a shroud of snow ; 

Life lingers, and would die, but thy Return 
Gives to their gladdened hearts an overflow 

Of all the power, that brooded in the urn 

Of their chilled frames, and then they proudly spurn 
All bands that would confine, and give to air 

Hues, fragrance, shapes of beauty, till they burn, 
When, on a dewy morn, thou dartest there 
Rich waves of gold to wreath with fairer Ii<yht the fair. 

The vales are thine : — and when the touch of Spring 
Thrills them, and gives them gladness, in thy light 

They glitter, as the glancing swallow's wing 
Dashes the water in his winding flight, 
And leaves behind a wave, that crinkles bright, 

And widens outward to the pebbled shore ; — 

The vales are thine ; and when they wake from night, 

The dews that bend the grass tips, twinkling o'er 
Their soft and oozy beds, look upward and adore. 

The hills are thine : — they catch thy newest beam, 
And gladden in thy parting, where the wood 

Flames out in every leaf, and drinks the stream, 
That flows from out thy fulness, as a flood 
Bursts from an unknown land, and rolls the food 

Of nations in its waters ; so thy rays 

Flow and give brighter tints, than ever bud, 

When a clear sheet of ice reflects a blaze 
Of many twinkling gems, as every glossed bough plays. 

Thine are the mountains,-— where they purely lift 

Snows that have never wasted, in a sky 
Which hath no stain ; below the storm may drift 

Its darkness, and the thunder-gust roar by ; — 

Aloft in thy eternal smile they lie 



r .^n 130.] FIRST CLASS BSGIL 2S5 

Dazzling but cold ; — thy farewell glance look* there, 

ind when below thy hues of beauty die, 
Girt round them, as a rosy belt, they bear 
Into thp high dark vault, a brow that still is fair. 

be clouds are thine ; and all their magick hues 
Are pencilled by thee ; when thou bendest low, 

Or comest in thy strength, thy hand imbues 
Their waving folds with such a perfect glow 
Of all pure tints, the fairy pictures throw 

Shame on the proudest art ; * # * 

These are thy trophies, and thou bend'st thy arch, 
The sign of triumph, in a seven-fold twine, 

Where the spent storm is hasting on its march ; 
And there the glories of thy light combine. 
And form, with perfect curve, a lifted line 

s ^ riding the earth and air ; — man looks and tells 
How Peace and Mercy in its beauty shine, 

And how the heavenly messenger impels 
He/ glad wuigs on the path, that thus in ether swells. 

The ocean is thy vassal :■— -thou dost sway 

His waves to thy dominion, and they go 
Where thou, in heaven, dost guide them on their way 

Rising and falling in eternal flow -: 

Thou lookest on the waters, and thev oiow, 
And take them wings and spring aloft in air, 

And change to clouds, and then, dissolving, throw 
Their treasures back to earth, and, rushing, tear 
The mountain and the vale, as proudly on thev bear. 

In thee, iirst light, the bounding ocean smiles 

When the quick winds uprear it in a swell, 
That rolls in glittering green around the isles, 

Where ever-sorin^in^ fruits and blossoms dwe^l. 

O ! with a iov no gifted tongue can tell, 
1 hurry o'er the waters when the sail 

Swells tensely, and the light keel glances well 
Over the curling billow, and the gale 
Gomes oil' from spicy groves to tell its winning tale. 



286 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 131 

LESSON CXXXI. 

Apostrophe to the Ocean. — Byron 

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, 

There is a rapture on the lonely shore, 
There is society where none intrudes 

By the deep sea, and mnsick in its roar. 

I love not man the less, but Nature more, 
From these our interviews, in which I steal 

From all I may be, or have been before, 
To mingle with the universe and feel 
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal. 

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean — roll * 
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain , 

Man marks the earth with ruin — his control 
Stops with the shore ; — upon the watery plain 
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain 

A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, 
When for a moment, like a drop of rain, 

lie sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, 
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown 

The armaments which thimderstrike the walls 

Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake, 
And monarchs tremble in their capitals ; 

The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make 

Their clay creator the vain title take 
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war ; 

These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake, 
They melt into thv yest of waves, which mar 
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar. 

'Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee — 
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, — what are they ? 

Thy waters wasted them while they were free, 
And many a tyrant since ; their shores obey 
The stranger, slave, or savage ; their decay 

Has dried up realms to deserts : — not so thou, 
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play — 

Time writes no wrinkles on thine azure brow — 
Such as creation's down beheld, thou rollest now. 



teson 132. J FIRST CLASS BOOK. 287 



T (j ou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form 

il&sses itself in tempests ; in all time, 
Calm oi convulsed — in breeze, or gale, or storim 
Icing tlie pole, or in the torrid clime 
Dark-heaving ;• boundless, endless, and sublime — 
The image of Eterni. v — the throne , 

Of the invisible , even from out thy slime 
e monsters of the deep art made ; each zone 
O! thee — *hou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone. 

* * — 

Arid I have loved thee, Ocean ! and ray jt»j 
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be 

Borne, like thy bubbles, onward ;— from a be / 
I wantoned with thy breakers — they to me 
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea 

Made them a terrour, — 'twas a pleasing fear. 
For I was, as it were, a child of thee, 

And trusted to thy billows far and near, 
And laid my hand upon thy mane — as I do here. 



LESSON CXXXIL 

On the use and abuse of amusements. — Alison. 



V 



It were unjust and ungrateful to conceive that the an ise- 

raents of life are altogether forbid by its beneficent Author. 
They serve, on the contrary, important purposes in the 
economy of human life, and are destined to produce import- 
ant effects, both upon our happiness and character. They 

e, in the first place, in the language of the Psalmist, "the 

of the desert ;" tlit ki resting-places in which toil 

ma" relax, : n which the weary spirit may recover its tone, 

ancl where the desponding mind may reassume its strength 

and its* hope-. 

They are, in another view, of some importance to the 
dignity of individual character. In every tiling we call 
amusement, there is generally some display of taste and 
imagination,— some elevation of the mind from mere ani- 
mal indulgence, or the baseness of sensual desire. Even m 
the scenes of relaxation, therefore, they have a tendency to 
preserve the dignity of human character, and to fill up the 
vacant and unguarded hoars of life with occupations inno- 
cent at least, if not virtuous. But their principal effect, 



288 THE AMERICAN [Lns-on 133 

perhaps, is upon the social character of man. Whenever 
amusement is sought, it is in the society of our brethren ; 
and whenever it is found, it is in our sympathy with the 
happiness of those around us. It bespeaks the disposition 
of benevolence, an t creates it. 

When men assemble, accordingly, for the purpose of gen- 
e % happiness or joy, they exhibit to the thoughtful eye, 
one of the most pleasing appearances of their original char- 
acter. They leave behind them, for a time, the faults of 
their station and the asperities of their temper ; — they for- 
get the secret views, and selfish purposes of their ordinary 
life, and mingle with the crow T d around them with no other 
view than to receive and to communicate happiness. It is a 
spectacle which it is impossible to observe without emotion ; 
and, while the virtuous man rejoices at that evidence which 
it affords of the benevolent constitution of his nature, the 
pious man is apt to bless the benevolence of that God, whs 
thus makes the wilderness and the solitary place be glad, 
and whose wisdom renders even the hours of amusement 
subservient to the cause of virtue. 

It is not, therefore, the use of the innocent amusements 
- life which is dangerous, but the abuse of them ; — it is not 
vhen they are occasionally, but when they are constantly 
pursued ; when the love of amusement degenerates into a 
passion, and when, from being an occasional indulgence, it 
becomes an habitual desire, What the consequences of this 
inordinate love of amusement are, I shall now endeavour 
very briefly to show you. 

When we look, in a moral view, to the consequences of 
human pursuits, we are not to stop at the precise and imme- 
diate effects which they may seem to have upon character. 
It is chiefly by the general frame of mind they produce, and 
the habitual dispositions they create, that we are to deter- 
mine whether their influence is fortunate or unfortunate on 
those who are en<ra<>*ed in them. In every pursuit, whatev- 
er gives strength and energy to the mind of man, experience 
teaches to be favourable to the interests of piety, of knowl- 
edge, and of virtue ; — in every pursuit, on the contrary 
whatever enfeebles or limits the powers of mind, the same 
'experience every where shows to be hostile to the best inter- 
ests of human nature. 

If it is in this view we consider the effects of the habitual 
love even of the most innocent amusement, we shall find 
that it produces necessarily, for the hour in which it is in- 



Lesson 132.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 289 

dulged, an enfeebled and dependent frame of mind ; that in 
such scenes energy resolves, and resolution fades ;— that in 
the enjoyment of the present hour, the past and the future 
are alike forgotten ; and that the heart learns to be satisfied 
with passive emotion, and momentary pleasure. 

It is to this single observation, my young friends, that I 
wish at present to direct your attention ; and to entreat you 
to consider what may be expected to be the effects of such 
a character of mind, at your age, upon the honour and hap- 
piness of future life. 

1. It tends to degrade all the powers of the understand- 
ing. It is the eternal law of nature that truth and wisdom 
are the offspring of labour, of vigour, and perseverance in 
every worthy object of pursuit, The eminent stations of 
fame, accordingly, and the distinguished honours of knowl- 
edge, have, in every age, been the reward only of such early 
attainments, of that cherished elevation of mind which pur- 
sues only magnificent ends, and of that heroick fortitude 
which, w r hether in action or m speculation, pursues them by 
the means of undeviating exertion. 

For the production of such a character, no discipline can 
be so unfit as that of the habitual love of amusement. It 
kindles not the eye of ambition ; — it bids the heart beat with 
no throb of generous admiration ; — it lets the soul be calm, 
while all the rest of our fellows are passing us in the road of 
virtue or of science. Satisfied with humble and momentary 
enjoyment, it aspires to no honour, no praise, no pre-emi- * 
nence, and, contented with the idle gratification of the pres- 
ent hour, forgets alike what man has done, and what man 
was born to do. 

If such be the character of the youthful mind, if it be 
with such aims and such ambition that its natural elevation 
can be satisfied, am I to ask you, what must be the ap- 
pearances of riper years ? — what the effect of such habits 
of thought upon the understanding of manhood ? Alas ! a 
greater instructer, the mighty instructer, experience, may 
show you in every rank of life what these effects are. — It 
will show you men born with every capacity, and whose 
first years glowed with every honourable ambition, whom 
no vice even now degrades, and to whom no actual guilt is 
affixed, who yet live in the eye of the world only as the 
objects of pity or of scorn, — who, in the idle career of ha- 
bitual amusement, have dissipated all their powers, and lost 
all their ambition, — and who exist now for no purpose, but 

25 



290 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 132. 

to be the sad memorials of ignoble taste and degraded un- 
derstanding. 

2. The inordinate love of pleasure is, in the second place, 
equally hostile to the moral character. If the feeble and 
passive disposition of mind which it produces be unfavour- 
able to the exertions of the understanding, it is, in the same 
measure as unfavourable to the best employments of the 
heart. The great duties of life, the duties for which every 
man and woman is born, demand, in all situations, the mind 
of labour and perseverance. From the first hour of exist- 
ence to the last, — from the cradle of the infant, beside 
<*V> i- h the mother watches with unslumbering eye, to the 
g.ave of the aged, where the son pours his last tears upon 
the bier of his father, — in all that intermediate time, every 
day calls for exertion and activity, and the moral honours 
cf our being can only be won by the steadfast magnanimity 
ef pious duty. 

If such be the laborious but animating destiny of man, is 
it in the enervating school of habitual amusement, that the 
young are to fit themselves for its high discharge ? Is it from 
hence that the legislator is to learn those lengthened toils 
allien decide the happiness of nations ; or the warriour, that 
undaunted spirit, which can scorn both danger and death in 
the defence of his country ? Or is it here, my young friends, 
that experience tells you, you can best learn to perform the 
common duties of your coming days ; those sacred duties 
of domestick life which every one is called to discharge, 
from which neither riches nor poverty are free, and which, 
far more than all others, open to you the solemn prospect 
of either being the blessings or the curses of society. 

Alas ! experience has here also decided ; it tells you, that 
the mind which exists only for pleasure, cannot exist for 
duty; — it tells you, that the feeble and selfish spirit of 
amusement gradually corrodes all the benevolent emotions 
of the heart, and withers the most sacred ties of domestick 
affection ; — and. it points its awful finger to the examples of 
those, alas ! of both sexes, whom the unrestrained love of 
idle pleasure first led to errour and folly, and whom, with 
sure but fatal progress, it has since conducted to be the ob- 
jects of secret shame, and publick infamy. 

3. In the laat place, this unmanly disposition is equally 
fatal to hapriness as to virtue. To the wise and virtuous, 
va those who use the pleasures of life only as a temporary 
relaxation, as a resting-place to animate them on the great 



Lesson 132.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 291 

journey on which they are travelling, the hours of amuse- 
ment bring real pleasure ; to them the well of joy is evei 
full, while to those who linger by its side, its waters are 
soon dried and exhausted. 

I speak not now of those bitter waters which must mingle 
themselves with the well of unhallowed pleasure,— of the 
secret reproaches of accusing conscience, — of the sad sense 
of shame and dishonour, — and of that degraded spirit, which 
must bend itself beneath the scorn of the world ; — I speak 
only of the simple and natural effect of unwise indulgence ; 
— that it renders the mind callous to enjoyment ; — and that, 
even though the " fountain were full of water," the feverish 
lip is incapable of satiating its thirst. Alas ! here too, we 
may see the examples of human folly ; — we may see around 
us every where the fatal effects of unrestrained pleasure,— 
the young sickening in the midst of every pure and genuine 
enjoyment ; — the mature hastening, with hopeless step, to 
fill up the hours of a vitiated being ; — and, what is still more 
wretched, the hoary head wandering in the way of folly, 
and, with an unhallowed dotage, returning again to the 
trifles and the amusements of childhood. 

Such then, my young friends, are the natural and expe- 
rienced consequences of the inordinate love even of innocent 
amusement, and such the intellectual and moral degradation 
to which the paths of pleasure conduct. Let me entreat 
you to pnr.se, ere you begin your course; ere those habits 
are acquired which may never again be subdued ; — and ere 
ye permit the charms of pleasure to wind around your soul 
their fascinating powers. 

Think, with the elevation and generosity of your age, 
whether this is the course that leads to honour or to fame ; — 
whether it was in this discipline that they were exercised, 
who, in every age, have blessed, or have enlightened the 
world,— whose shades are present tc your midnight thoughts, 
—and whose names you cannot pronounce without the tear 
of gratitude or admiration. 

Think, still more, whether it was to the ends of unmanly 
pleasure that you were dedicated, when the solemn service of 
religion first enrolled you in the number of the faithful, and 
when the ardent tears of your parents mingled with the waters 
of your baptism. If they live, is it in such paths that their anx 
ious eyes delight to see you tread ^ — If they are no more, is 
it on such scenes that they can bend their venerated heads 
from Heaven, and rejoice in the course of their children ? 



•292 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 133. 

LESSON CXXXIII. 

The needless alarm : — A Tale. — Cowper. 

There is a field through which I often pass, 
Thick overspread with moss and silky grass, 
Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood, 
Where oft the she-fox hides her hapless brood, 
Reserved to solace many a neigbouring squire, 
That he may follow them through brake and brier, 
Contusion hazarding of neck, or spine, 
Which rural gentlemen call sport divine. 

A narrow brook, by rushy banks concealed, 
Runs in a bottom, and divides the field ; 
Oaks intersperse it, that had once a head, 
But now wear crests of oven-wood instead ; 
And where the land slopes to its watery bourn, 
Wide yawns a gulf, beside a shaggy thorn ; 
Bricks line the sides, but shivered long ago, 
And horrid brambles intertwine below : — 
A hollow, scooped, I judge, in ancient time, 
For baking earth, or burning rock to lime. 

Not yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, 
With which the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed ; 
Nor Autumn yet had brushed from every spray, 
With her chill hand, the mellow leaves away ; 
But corn was housed, and beans were in the stack * 
Now, therefore, issued forth the spotted pack, 
With tails high mounted, ears hung low, and throats 
With a whole gamut filled of heavenly notes, 
For which, alas ! my destiny severe, 
Though ears she gave me two, gave me no ear. 

The sun, accomplishing his early march, 
His lamp now planted on heaven's topmost arch, 
When, exercise and air my only aim, 
And heedless whither, to that field I came, 
Ere yet, with ruthless joy, the happy hound 
Told hill and dale that Revnard's track was found, 
Or with the high-raised horn's melodious clang 
All Kilwick* and all Dinglederry* rang. 

Sheep grazed the field : some with soft bosom pressed 
The herb as soft, while nibbling strayed the rest : 

* Two woods belonging to J. Throckmorton, Esq. 



Lesson 133.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 

Nor noise was heard, save of the hasty brook, 
Struggling, detained in many a petty nook. 
All seemed so peaceful, that, from them conveyed, 
To me their peace, by kind contagion, spread. 

But when the huntsman, with distended cheek, 
'Gan make his instrument of musick speak, 
And from within the wood that crash was heard, 
Though not a hound, from whom it burst, appeared, 
The sheep recumbent, and the sheep that grazed, 
All huddling into phalanx, stood and gazed, 
Admiring, terrified, the novel strain, — 
Then coursed the field around, and coursed it round again 
But, recollecting, with a sudden thought, 
That flight, in circles urged, advanced them nought, 
They gathered close around the old pit's brink, > 

And thought again — but knew not what to think. 

The man to solitude accustomed long 
Perceives in everv thing- that lives a tongue ; 
Not animals alone, but shrubs and trees 
Have speech for him, and understood with ease. 
After long "drought when rains abundant fall, 
Ke hears the herbs and flowers rejoicing all, 
Knows what the freshness of their hue implies, 
How glad they catch the largess of the skies : — 
But, with precision nicer still, the mind 
He scans of every locomotive kind ; 
Birds of all feather, beasts of every name, 
That serve mankind or shun them, wild or tame ; 
The looks and gestures of their griefs and fears 
Have all articulation in his ears ; 
He spells them true, by intuition's light, 
And needs no glossary to set him right. 

This truth premised was needful as a text, 
To win due credence to what follows next. 

A while they mused ; surveying every face, 
Thou hadst supposed them of superiour race : 
Their periwigs of wool, and fears combined, 
Stamped on each countenance such marks of mind* 
That sage they seemed, as lawyers o'er a doubt, 
Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out ; 
Or academick tutors, teaching youths, 
Sure ne'er to want them, mathematick truths ; 
When thus a mutton, statelier than the rest, 
A ram, the ewes and wethers sad, addressed. 

25* 



294 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 133 

" Friends ! we have lived too long. — I never heard 
Sounds such as these, so worthy to be feared. 
Could I believe that winds, for ages \ ent 
In earth's dark womb, have found ut last a vent, 
And, from their prison-house below, arise, 
With all these hideous howlings to the skies, 
I could be much composed ; nor should appear, 
For such a cause, to feel the slightest fear. 
Yourselves have seen, what time the thunders rolled 
All night, me resting quiet in the fold. 
Or, heard we that tremendous bray alone, 
I could expound the melancholy tone ; 
Should deem it by our old companion made, 
The ass ; for he, we know, has lately strayed, 
And, being lost perhaps, and wandering wide, 
Might be supposed to clamour for a guide. 
But ah ! those dreadful yells what soul can hear, 
That owns a carcass, and not quake for fear ! 
Demons produce them doubtless, brazen-clawed, 
And, fang'd with brass, the demons are abroad :— 
I hold it, therefore, wisest and most fit, 
That, life to save, we leap into the pit." 

Him answered then his loving mate and true, 
But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe. 

" How ! leap into the pit, our life to save 7 
To save our life leap all into the grave 7 
For, can we find it less 1 — Contemplate first 
The depth, how awful ! falling there we burst : 
Or, should the brambles, interposed, our fall 
In part abate, that happiness were small ; 
For, with a race like theirs, no chance I see 
Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we. 
Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray, 
Or be it not, or be it whose it may, 
And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues 
Of demons uttered, from whatever lungs, 
Sounds are but sounds ; and, till the cause appear, 
We have at least commodious standing here. 
Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast 
From earth, or hell, we can but plunge at last." 

While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals, 
For Reynard, close attended at his heels 
By panting dog, tired man, and spattered horse, 
Through mere good fortune, took a different course 



Lesson 134.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 295 

The flock grew cairn again, and I, the road 
Following, that led me to my own abode, 
Much wondered that the silly sheep had found 
Such cause of terrour in an empty sound, 
So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound. 

MORAL. 

Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day, 
Live till to-morrow, will have passed away. 



LESSON CXXXIV. 

Forest Trees. — W. Irving. 

I have paused more than once in the wilderness of Amer- 
ica, to contemplate the traces of some blast of wind, winch 
seemed to have rushed down from the clouds, and ripped 
its way through the bosom of the woodlands ; rooting up, 
shivering, and splintering the stoutest trees, and leaving a 
long track of desolation. 

There is something awful in the vast havock made among 
these gigantick plants ; and in considering their magnificent 
remains, so rudely torn and mangled, hurled down to perish 
prematurely on their native soil, I was conscious of a strong 
movement of sympathy with the wood-nymphs, grieving to 
be dispossessed of their ancient habitations. I recollect also 
hearing a traveller of poetical temperament, expressing the 
kind of horrour which he felt in beholding, on the banks of 
the Missouri, an oak of prodigious size, which had bev>u 
in a manner overpowered by an enormous wild grape-vine. 
The vine had clasped its huge folds round the trunk, and 
from thence had wound about every branch and twig, until 
the mighty tree had withered in its embrace. It seemed 
like Laocoon struggling ineffectually in the hideous coils of 
the monster Python. It was the lion of trees perishing in 
the embraces of a vegetable Boa. 

I am fond of listening to the conversation of English gen- 
tlemen on rural concerns, and of noticing with what taste 
and discrimination, and what strong, unaffected interest, 
they will discuss topicks, which in other countries, are aban- 
doned to mere woodmen or rustick cultivators. I have heard 
a noble earl descant on park and forest scenery, with the 
science and feeling of a painter. He dwelt on the shapo 



296 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 134 

and beauty of particular trees on his estate with as much 
pride and technical precision as though he had been dis- 
cussing the merits of statues in his collection. I found that 
he had gone considerable distances to examine trees which 
were celebrated among rural amateurs ; for it seems that 
trees, like horses, have their established points of excel- 
lence, and that there are some in England which enjoy \erj 
extensive celebrity from being perfect in their kind. 

There is something nobly simple and pure in such a taste. 
It argues, I think, a sweet and generous nature, to have 
this strong relish for the beauties of vegetation, and this 
friendship for the hardy and glorious sons of the forest. 
There is a grandeur of thought connected with this part of 
rural economy. It is, if I may be allowed the figure, the 
heroick line of husbandry. It is worthy of liberal, and free 
born, and aspiring men. He who plants an oak looks for- 
ward to future ages, and plants for posterity. Nothing can 
be less selfish than this. He cannot expect to sit in its 
shade nor enjoy its shelter; but he exults in the idea that 
the acorn which he has buried in the earth shall grow up 
into a lofty pile, and shall keep on flourishing, and increas- 
ing, and benefiting mankind, long after he shall have ceas- 
ed to tread his paternal fields. 

Indeed, it is the nature of such occupations to lift the 
thought above mere worldliness. As the leaves of trees are 
said to absorb all noxious qualities of the air, and breathe 
forth a purer atmosphere, so it seems to me as if they drew 
from us all sordid and angry passions, and breathed forth 
peace and philanthropy. There is a serene and settled 
majesty in woodland scenery that enters into the soul, and 
dilates and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations. The 
ancient and hereditary groves, too, that embower this island,* 
are most of them full of story. They are haunted by the rec- 
ollections of the great spirits of past ages, who have sought 
for relaxation among them, from the tumult of arms, or the 
toils of state, or have wooed the muse beneath their shade. 

It is becoming, then, for the high and generous spirits of 
an ancient nation to cherish these sacred groves that sur 
round their ancestral mansions, and to perpetuate them to 
their descendants. Brought up, as I have been, in republi- 
can habits and principles, I can feel nothing of the servile 
reverence for titled rank, merely because it is titled. But 

* This piece, though it is the production of an American, was writ- 
en in England. 



Lesson 134.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 297 

I trust I am neither churl nor bigot in my creed. I do see 
and feel how hereditary distinction, when it falls to the lot 
of a generous mind, may elevate that mind into true nobility. 
It is one of the effects of hereditary rank, when it falls thus 
happily, that it multiplies the duties, and, as it were, ex- 
tends the existence of the possessor. He does not feel 
himself a mere individual link in creation, responsible only 
for his own brief term of bein^. He carries back his exist- 
ence in proud recollection, and he extends it forward in 
honourable anticipation. He lives with his ancestry, and 
he lives with his posterity. To both does he consider him- 
self involved in deep responsibilities. As he has received 
much from those that have gone before, so he feels bound 
to transmit much to those who are to come after him. 

His domestick undertakings seem to imply a longer exist- 
ence than those of ordinary men. None are so apt to build 
and plant for future centuries, as noble spirited men who 
have received their heritages from foregoing asres. 

I can easily imagine, therefore, the fondness and pride 
with which I have noticed English gentlemen, of generous 
temperaments, but high aristocratick feelings, contemplating 
those magnificent trees, which rise like towers and pyra- 
mids from the midst of their paternal lands. There is an 
affinity between all natures, animate and inanimate. The 
oak, in the pride and lustihood of its growth, seems to me to 
take its range with the lion and the eagle, and to assimilate, 
in the grandeur of its attributes, to heroick and intellectual 
man. 

With its mighty pillar rising straight and direct toward 
heaven ; bearing up its leafy honours from the impurities of 
earth, and supporting them aloft in free air and glorious 
sunshine, it is an emblem of what a true nobleman should 
be; a refuge for the weak, — a shelter for the oppressed, — 
a defence for the defenceless : warding oft from them the 
peltings of the storm, or the scorching rays of arbitrary 
power. He who is this, is an ornament and a blessing to 
his native land. He who is otherwise, abuses his eminent 
advantages ; — abuses the grandeur and prosperity which he 
has drawn from the bosom of his country. Should tempests 
arise, and he be laid prostrate by the storm, who would 
mourn over his fall 1 — Should he be borne down by the op- 
pressive hand of power, who would murmur at his fate ? — 
" Why eumberetli he the ground ?" 



298 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 135. 

LESSON CXXXV. 
Old Mortality. — Tales of my Landlord. 

Most readers must have witnessed with delight the joyous 
burst which attends the dismissing of a village-school, on a 
fine summer evening. The buoyant spirit of childhood, re- 
pressed with so much difficulty during the tedious hours of 
discipline, may then explode, as it were, in shout, and song, 
and frolick, as the little urchins join in groups on their play- 
ground, and arrange their matches of sport for the evening. 
But there is one individual who partakes of the relief af- 
forded by the moment of dismission, whose feelings are not 
so obvious to the eye of the spectator, or so apt to receive 
his sympathy. 

I mean, the teacher himself, who, stunned with the hum, 
and suffocated with the closeness of his school-room, has 
spent the whole day (himself against a host) in controlling 
petulance, exciting indifference to action, striving to en- 
lighten stupidity, and labouring to soften obstinacy ; and 
whose very powers of intellect have been confounded by 
hearing the same dull lesson repeated a hundred times by 
rote, and o^y varied by the various blunders of the reciters. 

Even the flowers of classick genius, with which his soli- 
tary fancy is most gratified, have been rendered degraded, >r> 
his imagination, by their connexion with tears, with errours* 
and with punishment : so that the Eclogues of Virgil, ami 
Odes of Horace, are each inseparably allied in association 
with the sullen figure and monstrous recitation of some blub- 
bering school-boy. If to these mental distresses are added a 
delicate frame of body, and a mind ambitious of some higher 
distinction than that of being the tyrant of childhood, the 
reader may have some slight conception of the relief which 
a solitary walk, in the cool of a fine summer evening, affords 
to the head which has ached, and the nerves which have 
been shattered for so many hours, in plying the irksome 
task of publick instruction* 

To me, these evening strolls have been the happiest hours 
of an unhappy life ; and if any gentle reader shall hereafter 
find pleasure in perusing these lucubrations, I am not un- 
willing he should know, that the plan of them has been 
usually traced in those moments, when relief from toil and 
clamour, combined with the quiet scenery around me, has 
disposed my mind to the task of composition. 



Lesson 135.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 299 

My chief haunt, in these hours of golden leisure, is the 
banks of a small stream, which, winding through « a lone 
vale of green bracken,' passes in front of the village school- 
house of Gandercleuch. For the first quarter of a mile, 
perhaps, I may be disturbed from my meditations, in order 
to return the scrape, or doffed bonnet, of such stragglers 
among my pupils as fish for trout or minnows in the little 
brook, or seek rushes and wild-flowers by its margin. — But, 
beyond the space I have mentioned, the juvenile anglers do 
not, after sun-set, voluntarily extend their excursions. 

The cause is, that farther up the narrow valley, and in 
a recess' which seems scooped out of the side of the steep, 
heathy bank, there is a deserted burial-ground, which the 
little cowards are fearful of approaching in the twilight. To 
me, however, the place has an inexpressible charm. It has 
been long the favourite termination of my walks, and, if my 
kind patron forgets not his promise, will (and probably at 
no very distant day) be my final resting-place after my 
mortal pilgrimage. 

It is a spot which possesses all the solemnity of feeling 
attached to a burial-ground, without exciting those of a 
more unpleasant description. Having been very little used, 
for many years, the few hillocks which rise above the level 
plain are covered with the same short velvet tuif. The 
monuments, of which there are not above seven or eight, are 
half sunk in the ground, and overgrown with moss. No 
lewly erected tomb disturbs the sober serenity of our reflec- 
tions by reminding us of recent calamity, and no rank 
springing grass forces upon our imagination the recollec- 
tion, that it owes its dark luxuriance to the foul and fester- 
ing remnants of mortality which ferment beneath. 

The daisy which sprinkles the sod, and the hare-bell 
which hangs over it, derive their pure nourishment from the 
dew of heaven, and their growth impresses us with no de- 
grading or disgusting recollections. Death has, indeed, been 
here, and its traces are before us ; but they are softened 
and deprived of their horrour by our distance from the pe- 
riod when they have been first impressed. Those who sleep 
beneath are only connected with us by the reflection that 
they have once been what we now are, and that, as their 
relicks are now identified with their mother earth, ours 
shall, at some future period, undergo the same transfor- 
mation. 

Yet, although the moss has been collected on the most 



300 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 135. 

modern of these humble tombs, during four generations of 
mankind, the memory of some of those who sleep beneath 
them is still held in revered remembrance. It is true, that? 
upon the largest, and, to the antiquary, the most interest- 
ing monument of the group which bears the effigies* of a 
doughty knight in his hood of mail, with his shield hanging 
on his breast, the armorial bearings are defaced by time, 
and a few worn-out letters may be read at the pleasure of 
the decipherer ; and it is also true that, of another tomb 
richly sculptured with an ornamented cross, mitre, and pas- 
toral staff, tradition can only aver, that a certain nameless 
bishop lies interred there. 

But upon other two stones which lie beside, may still be 
read in rude prose, and ruder rhyme, the history of those 
who sleep beneath them. They belong, we are assured by 
the epitaph, to the class of persecuted Presbyterians who 
afforded a melancholy subject for history in the times of 
Charles II. and his successors. In returning from the bat- 
tle of Pentland Hills, a party of the insurgents had been 
attacked in this glen, by a small detachment of the king's 
troops, and three or four either killed in the skirmish, or 
shot, after being made prisoners, as rebels taken with arms 
in their hands. 

The peasantry continue to attach to the tombs of those 
victims of prel'acy an honour which they do not attach to 
more splendid mausoleums ; and when they point them out 
to their sons, and narrate the fate of the sufferers, they 
usually conclude, by exhorting them to be ready, should 
times call for it, to resist to the death in the cause of civil 
and religious liberty, like their brave forefathers. 

One summer evening, as in a stroll, such as I have de- 
scribed, I approached this deserted mansion of the dead, I 
was somewhat surprised to hear sounds distinct from those 
which usually sooth its solitude, the gentle chiding, namely, 
of the brook,, and the sighing of the wind in the boughs of 
three gigantick ash-trees, which mark the cemetery. The 
clink of a hammer was, upon this occasion, distinctly heard ; 
and I entertained some alarm that a march-dike, long medi- 
tated by the two proprietors whose estates were divided by 
my favourite brook, was about to be drawn up the glen inl 
order to substitute its rectilinear deformity for the graceful| 
winding of the natural boundary. 

As I approached, I was agreeably undeceived. An oldj 

* Pronounced ef-fid'jls. 



Lesson 136.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 301 

man was seated upon the monument of the slaughtered 
Presbyterians, and busily employed in deepening, with his 
chisel, the letters of the inscription, which, announcing*, in 
scriptural language, the promised blessings of futurity to be 
the lot of the slain, anathematized the murderers with cor- 
responding violence. 

A blue bonnet of unusual dimensions covered the grav 
hairs of the pious workman. His dress was a large old-fash- 
ioned coat, of the coarse cloth called Iwddin-gray, usually 
worn by the elder peasants, with waistcoat and breeches of 
the same ; and the whole suit, though still in decent repair, 
had obviously seen a train of long service. Strong clouted 
shoes, studded with hob-nails, and gramoclies, or leggins, 
made of thick black cloth, completed his equipment. 

Beside him fed, among the graves, a pony, the companion 
of his journey, whose extreme whiteness as well as its pro 
jecting bones and hollow eyes, indicated its antiquity. It 
was harnessed in the most simple manner, with a hair teth- 
er, or halter, and a sunk, or cushion of straw, instead of bri- 
dle and saddle. A canvass pouch hung around the neck of 
the animal, for the purpose, probably, of containing the ri- 
der's tools, and any thing else he might have occasion to 
carry with him. Although I had never seen the old man be- 
fore, yet, from the singularity of his employment, and the 
style of his equipage, I had no difficulty in recognizing a re- 
ligious itinerant whom I had often heard talk of, and who 
was known in various parts of Scotland by the title of Old 
Mortality, 



LESSON CXXXVL 

The same, — Concluded, 

Where the old man was born, or what was his real name, 
I have never been able to learn ; nor are the motives which 
made him desert his home, and adopt the erratick mode of 
life which he pursued, known to me except very generally. 
According to the belief of most people, he was a native of 
either the county of Dumfries or Galloway, and lineally 
descended from some of those champions of the Covenant 
whose deeds and sufferings were his favourite theme. 

He is said to have held, at one period of his life, a small 
moorland farm ; but, whether from pecuniary losses, or do 

26 



\m THE AMERICAN [Lesson 136 

mestick misfortune, he had long renounced that and every 
other gainful calling. In the language of Scripture, he left 
his house, his home, and his kindred, and wandered about 
until the day of his death ; a period, it is said, of about 
thirty years. 

During this long pilgrimage, the pious enthusiast regu- 
lated Ins circuit so as annually to visit the graves of the un- 
fortunate Covenanters who suffered by the sword or by the 
executioner, during the reigns of the two last monarchs of 
the Stuart line. Their tombs are often apart from all human 
habitation, in the remote moors and wilds to which the 
wanderers had fled for concealment. But, wherever they 
existed, Old Mortality was sure to visit them when his an- 
nual round brought them within his reach. 

In the most lonely recesses of the mountains, the moor 
fowl shooter has been often surprised to find him busied in 
cleaning the moss from the gray stones, renewing with his 
chisel the half-defaced inscriptions, and repairing the em- 
blems of death with which these simple monuments are 
usually adorned. 

Motives of the most sincere, though fanciful devotion, in- 
duced the old man to dedicate so many years of existence 
to perform this tribute to the memory of the deceased war- 
riours of the church. He considered himself as fulfilling a 
sacred duty, while renewing, to the eyes of posterity, the 
decaying emblems of the zeal and sufferings of their fore- 
fathers, and thereby trimming, as it were, the beacon light 
which was to warn future generations to defend their reli- 
gion even unto blood. 

In all his wanderings, the old pilgrim never seemed tc 
needj or was known to accept, pecuniary assistance. It is 
true, his wants were very few ; for wherever he went he 
found ready quarters in the house of some Cameronian of 
hi* own sect, or of some other religious person. The hos- 
pitality which was reverentially paid to him he always ac- 
knowledged by repairing the grave stones (if there existed 
any) belonging to the family or ancestors of his host. As 
the wanderer was usually to be seen bent on this pious task 
within the precincts of some country church-yard, or re- 
clined on the solitary tomb-stone among the heath, disturb- 
ing the plover and the black-cock with the clink of his chiseJ 
and mallet, with his old white pony grazing by his side, he 
acquired, from his converse among the dead, the popular 
appellation of Old Mortality. 



lesson 13C] FIRST CLASS BOOK. • 303 

The character of such a man would have in it little con- 
nexion even with innocent gayety. Yet among those of his 
own religious persuasion, he is reported to have been cheer- 
fill. The descendants of persecutors or those whom he sup- 
posed guilty of entertaining similar tenets, and the scoffere 
at religion by whom he was sometimes assailed, he usually 
termed the generation of vipers. Conversing with others, 
he was grave and sententious, not without a cast of severity. 

But he is said never to have been observed to give way to 
violent passion, excepting upon one occasion, when a mis- 
chievous truant-boy defaced with u stone the nose of a cher- 
ub's face which the old man was engaged in retouching. I 
am, in general, a sparer of the rod, notwithstanding the 
maxim of Solomon, for which school-boys have little reason 
to thank his memory : but on this occasion I deemed it 
proper to show that I did not hate the child. — But I must 
return to the circumstances attending my first interview 
with this interesting enthusiast. 

In accosting Old Mortality, I did not fail to pay respect 
to his years and his principles, beginning my address by a 
respectful apology for interrupting his labours. The old man 
intermitted the operation of the chisel, took off his specta- 
cles and wiped them, then replacing them on his nose, ac- 
knowledged my courtesy by a suitable return. Encouraged 
by his affability, I intruded upon him some questions con- 
cerning the sufferers upon whose monument he was now 
employed. 

To talk of the exploits of the Covenanters was the delight, 
ss to repair their monuments was the business, of his life. He 
was profuse in the communication of all the minute informa- 
tion which he had collected concerning them, their wars, 
and their wanderings. One would almost have supposed he 
must have been their contemporary, and have actually be- 
held the passages which he related ; so much had he identi- 
fied his feelings and opinions with theirs, and so much had 
his narratives the circumstantiality of an eye-witness. **** 

Soothing the old man by letting his peculiar opinions pass 
without contradiction, and anxious to prolong conversation 
with so singular a character, I prevailed upon him to accept 
that hospitality which my patron is always willing to extend 
to those who need it. In our way to the schoolmaster's 
house we called at the "Wallace Inn, where I was pretty 
certain I should find my patron about that hour of the even- 
ing. 



<MH * THE AMERICAN [Lesson 136. 

After a courteous interchange of civilities, Old Mortality 
was prevailed upon to join his host in a single glass of liquor, 
and that on condition that he should be permitted to name 
the pledge, which he prefaced with a grace of about five 
minuses, and then, with bonnet doffed and eyes uplifted, 
drar.k to the memory of those heroes of the Kirk who had 
firi X uplifted her banner upon the mountains. As no per- 
svasion could prevail on him to extend his conviviality to a 
*' cond cup, my patron accompanied him home, and accom- 
modated him with the prophet's chamber, as it is his pleas- 
ure to call the closet which holds a spare bed, and which is 
frequently a place of retreat for the poor traveller. 

The next day I took my leave of Old Mortality, who 
seemed affected by the unusual attention with which I had 
cultivated his acquaintance, and listened to his conversation. 
After he had mounted, not without difficulty, the old white 
pony, he took me by the hand, and said, " The blessing of 
our Master be with you, young man. — My hours are like 
the ears of the latter harvest, and your days are yet in the 
spring ; and yet, you may be gathered into the garner ot 
mortality before me ; for the sickle of death cuts down the 
green as oft as the ripe ; and there is a colour in your 
cheek, that, like the bud of the rose, serveth oft to hide the 
worm of corruption. Wherefore, labour as one who knoweth 
not when his master calleth. And if it be my lot to return to 
this village after you are gone home to your own place. 
these auld withered hands will frame a stone of memorial, 
that your name may not perish from among the people." 

I thanked Old Mortality for his kind intentions in my be- 
half, and heaved a sigh, not, I think, of regret so much as 
of resignation, to think of the chance that I might soon re 
quire his good offices. But though, in all human probabili 
ty, he did not err in supposing that my span of life may be 
abridged in youth, he had over-estimated the period of his 
own pilgrimage on earth. It is now some years since he 
has been missed in all his usual haunts, while moss, lichen, 
and deer-hair, are fast covering those stones, to cleanse 
which had been the business of his life. 

About the beginning of this century, he closed his mortal 
toils, being found on the highway near Lockerby, in Dum 
fries-shire, exhausted and just expiring. The old white pony, 
the companion of all his wanderings, was standing by the 
side of his dying master. There was found upon his person 
a sum of money sufficient for his decent interment, which 



Lesson 137.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 305 

serves to show that his death was in no ways hastened by 
violence, or by want. 

The common people still regard his memory with great 
respect ; and many are of opinion that the stones which he 
repaired will not again require the assistance of the chisel 
They even assert, that, on the tombs where the manner of 
the martyrs' murder is recorded, their names have remain- 
ed indelibly legible since the death of Old Mortality ; while 
those of the persecutors, sculptured on the same monuments 
have been entirely defaced. It is hardly necessary to say 
that this is a fond imagination, and that, since the time of 
the pious pilgrim, the monuments, which were the objects of 
his care, are hastening, like all earthly memorials, into ruin 
and decay. 



LESSON CXXXVII. 

The religious cottage. — D. Huntington. 

" Seest thou yon lonely cottage in the grove — 

With little garden neatly planned before — 
Its roof, deep shaded by the elms above, 

Moss-grown, and decked with velvet verdure o'er ? 

Go lift the willing latch— the scene explore — 
Sweet peace, and love, and joy, thou there shalt find : 

For there religijn dwells ; whose sacred lore 
Leaves the proud wisdom of the world behind, 
And pours a heavenly ray on every humble mind. 

' When the bright morning gilds the eastern skies, 
Up springs the peasant from his calm repose ; 

Forth to Ins honest toil he cheerful hies, 

And tastes the sweets of nature as he goes — 
But first, of Sharon's fairest, sweetest rose, 

He breathes the fragrance, and pours forth the praire 
Looks to the source whence every blessing flows. 

Ponders the page which heavenly truth conveys, 
And to its Author's hand commits his future ways. 

" Nor yet in solitude his prayers ascend ; 

His faithful partner and their blooming train, 
The precious word with reverent minds attend, 

The heaven-directed path of life to gain. 

Their voices mingle in the grateful strain — 
26* 



306 THE AMERICAN [Lesson J 35 

The lay of love and joy together sing, 

To Him whose bounty clothes the smiling plain, 
Who spreads the beauties of the blooming spring, 
And tunes the warbling throats that make the valleys ring * : 



LESSON CXXXVIII. 

The deaf mon^s grave. — Wordsworth. 

Almost at the root 
Of that tall pine, the shadow of whose bare 
And slender stem, while here I sit at eve, 
Oft stretches towards me like a long straight path, 
Traced faintly in the green sward ; there, beneath 
A plain blue stone, a gentle dalesman lies, 
From whom, in early childhood, was withdrawn 
The precious gift of hearing. He grew up 
From year to year in loneliness cf soul ; 
And this deep mountain valley wag to him 
Soundless with all its streams. The bird of dawn 
Did never rouse this cottager from sleep 
With startling summims : not for his delight 
The vernal cuckoo shouted ; not for him 
Murmured the labouring bee. When stormy winds 
Were working the broad bosom of the lake '■ 
Into a thousand thousand sparkling waves. 
Rocking the trees, and driving cloud on cloud, 
Along the sharp edge of yon lofty crags, 
The agitated scene before his eye 
Was silent as a picture : evermore 
Were all things silent wheresoe'er he moved. 
Yet, by the solace of his own pure thoughts 
Upheld, he duteously pursued the round 
Of rural labours ; the steep mountain-side 
Ascended, with his stafT and faithful dog ; 
The plough he guided, and the sithe he swayed ; 
And the ripe corn before his sickle fell 
Among the jdc'und reapers. For himself, 
All watchful and industrious as he was, 
He wrought not ; neither field nor flock he owned * 
No wish for wealth had place within his mind ; 
Nor husband's love, nor father's hope or care. 
Though born a younger brother, need was none 



Lesson 138.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 307 

That from the floor of his paternal home 

He should depart, to plant himself anew. 

And when, mature in manhood, he beheld 

His parents laid in earth, no loss ensue i 

Of rights to him ; but he remained weli pleased, 

By the pure bond of independent love, 

An inmate of a second family, 

The fellow labourer and friend of him 

To whom the small inheritance had fallen. 

Nor deem that his mild presence was a weight 
That pressed upon his brother's house ; for books 
Were ready comrades whom he could not tire, — 
Of whose society the blameless man 
Was never satiate. Their familiar voice, 
Even to old age, with unabated charm 
Beguiled his leisure hours ; refreshed his thoughts ; 
Beyond its natural elevation raised 
His introverted spirit ; and bestowed 
Upon his life an outward dignity 
W r hich all acknowledged. The dark winter night, 
The stormy day, had each its own resource ; 
Song of the muses, sage historick tale, 
Science severe, or word of holy writ 
Announcing immortality and joy 
To the assembled spirits of the just, 
From imperfection and decay secure. 

Thus soothed at home, thus busy in the field, 
To no perverse suspicion he gave way, 
No languor, peevishness, no vain complaint : 
And they who were about him did not fail 
In reverence, or in courtesy ; they prized 
His gentle manners : — and his peaceful smiles, 
The gleams of his slow-varying countenance, 
Were met with answering sympathy and love. 

At length, when sixty years and five were told, 
A slow disease insensibly consumed 
The powers of nature ; and a few short steps 
Of friends and kindred bore him from his home 
(Yon cottage, shaded by the woody crags,) 
To the profounder stillness of the grave. 
Nor was his funeral denied the grace 
Of many tears, virtuous and thoughtful grief; 
Heart-sorrow rendered sweet by gratitude. 

And now, that monumental stone preserves 



308 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 139 

His name, and unambitiously relates 

How long, and by what kindly outward aids, 

And in what pure contentedness of mind, 

The sad privation was by him endured. 

And yon tall pine-tree, whose composing sound 

Was wasted on the good man's living ear, 

Hath now its own peculiar sanctity ; 

And, at the touch of every wandering breeze, 

Murmurs not idly, o'er his peaceful grave. 



LESSON CXXXIX. 

The Alderman's funeral, — Southey. 

Stranger* Whom are they ushering from the world, with all 
This pageantry and long parade of death ? 

Townsman. A long parade, indeed, Sir, and yet here 
You see but half ; round yonder bend it reaches 
A furlong farther, carriage behind carriage. 

S. 'Tis but a mournful sight, and yet the pomp 
Tempts me to stand a gazer. 

T. Yonder schoolboy, 
Who plays the truant, says the proclamation 
Of peace was nothing to the show, and even 
The chairing of the members at election 
Would not have been a finer sight than this ; 
Only that red and green are prettier colours 
Than all this mourning. There, Sir, you behold 
One of the red-gowned worthies of the city, 
The envy and the boast of our exchange, 
Aye, what was worth, last week, a good half million, 
Screwed down in yonder hearse. 

8. Then he was born 
Under a lucky planet, who to-day 
Puts mourning on for his inheritance. 

T When first I heard his death, that very wish 
Leapt to my lips ; but now the closing scene 
Of the comedy hath wakened wiser thoughts ; 
And I bless God, that when I go to the grave, 
There will not be the weight of wealth like his 
To sink me down. 

8. The camel and the needle,— 
Is that ttaes & your mijs£ 9 



Lesson 139.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 300 

T. Even so. The text 
Is gospel wisdom. I would ride the camel, — 
Yea, leap him flying, through the needle's eye, 
As easily as such a pampered soul 
Could pass the narrow gate. 

S. Your pardon, Sir, 
But sure this lack of Christian charity 
Looks not like Christian truth. 

7\ Your pardon, too, Sir, 
If, with this text before me, I should feel 
In the preaching mood ! But for these barren fig-trees, 
With all their flourish and their leafiness, 
We have been told their destiny and use, 
When the axe is laid unto the root, and they 
Cumber the earth no longer. 

S. W^as his wealth 
Stored fraudfully, the spoil of orphans wronged, 
And widows who had none to plead their right 1 

T. All honest, open, honourable gains, 
Fair legal interest, bondjs and mortgages, 
Ships to the east and west. 

{$. Why judge you then 



Sr 



o 



hardly of the dead I 



T. For what he left 
Undone : — for sins, not one of which is mentioned 
In the Ten Commandments. He, I warrant him, 
Believed no other gods than those of the Creed : 
Bowed to no idols, — but his money-bags : 
Swore no false oaths, except at the custom-house : 
Kept the Sabbath idle : built a monument 
To honour his dead father : did no murder : 
Was too old-fashioned for adultery : 
Never picked pockets : never bore false-witness : 
And never, with that all-commanding wealth, 
Coveted his neighbour's house, nor ox, nor ass. 

S. You knew him, then, it seems ? 

T. As all men know 
The virtues of your hundred-thousanders ; 
They never hide their lights beneath a bushel. 

S. Nay, nay, uncharitable, Sir ! for often 
Doth bounty like a streamlet flow unseen, 
Freshening and giving life along its course. 

T. We track the streamlet by the brighter greep 
And livelier growth it gives : — but as for this — 



310 THE AMERICAN [Lesson V39. 

This was a pool that stagnated and stunk ; 
The rains of heaven engendered nothing in it, 
But slime and foul corruption. 

S. Yet even these 
Are reservoirs whence publick charity 
Still keeps her channels full. 

T. Now, Sir, you touch 
Upon the point. This man of half a million 
Had all these publick virtues which you praise, 
But the poor man rung never at his door ; 
And the old beggar, at the publick gate, 
Who, all the summer long, stands, hat in hand, 
He knew how vain it was to lift an eye 
To that hard face. Yet he was always found 
Among your ten and twenty pound subscribers, 
Your benefactors in the newspapers. 
His alms were money put to interest 
In the other world, — donations to keep open 
A running charity-account with Heaven : — 
Retaining fees against the last assises, 
When, for the trusted talents, strict account 
Shall be required from all, and the old arch-lawyer 
Plead his own cause as plaintiff. 

S* I must needs 
Believe you, Sir : — these are your witnesses, 
These mourners here, who from their carriages 
Gape at the gaping crowd. A good March wind 
Were to be prayed for now, to lend their eyes 
Some decent rheum. The very hireling mute 
Bears not a face blanker of all emotion 
Than the old servant of the family ! 
How can this man have lived, that thus his death 
Costs not the soiling one white handkerchief ! 

T. Who should lament for him, Sir, in whose heart 
Love had no place, nor natural charity 1 
The parlour-spaniel, when she heard his step, 
Rose slowly from the hearth, and stole aside 
With creeping pace ; she never raised her eyes 
To woo kind words from him, nor laid her head 
Upraised upon his knee, with fondling whine. 
How could it be but thus ! Arithmetick 
Was the sole science he was ever taught. 
The multiplication-table was his creed, 
His pater-noster, and his decalogue. 



Lesson 140.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 811 

When yet he was a boy, and should have breathed 

The open air and sunshine of the fields, 

To give his blood its natural spring and play, 

He, in a close and dusky counting-house, 

Smoke-dried and seared and shrivelled up his heart. 

So, from the way in which he was trained up, 

His feet departed not ; he toiled and moiled, 

Poor muck-worm ! through his three-score years and ten, 

And when the earth shall now be shovelled on him, 

If that which served him for a soul were stirl 

Within its husk, 'twould still be dirt to dirt. 

S. Yet your next newspapers will blazon him 
For industry and honourable wealth 
A bright example. 

T. Even half a million 
Gets him no other praise. But come this way 
Some twelve-months hence, and you will find his virtues 
Trimly set forth in lapidary lines, 
Faith, with her torch beside, and little Cupids 
Dropping upon his urn their marble tears. 



LESSON CXL. 

« 

lingular Adventure* 

Colter came to St. Louis in May 1810, in a small canoe, 
from the head waters of the Missouri, a distance of 3000 
miles, which he traversed in 30 days. I saw him on his ar- 
rival, and received from him an account of his adventures, 
after he had separated from Lewis and Clarke's party ; one 
of these, for its singularity, I shall relate. 

On the arrival of the party at the head waters of the 
Missouri, Colter, observing an appearance of abundance of 
beaver being there, got permission to remain and hunt for 
some time, which he did in company with a man of the 
name of Dixon, who had traversed the immense tract of 
country from St. Louis to the head waters of the Missouri 
alone. — Soon after, he separated from Dixon, and trapped 
in company with a hunter named Potts ; and, aware of the 
hostility of the Blackfoot Indians, one of whom had been 

■* This account of a perilous adventure of John Colter, is taken from. 
Bradbury's Travels in the interiour of North America; a publication, 
Fays M'Diarmid, cf great merit and interest. 



312 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 140. 

killed by Lewis, they set their traps at night, and took them 
up early in the morning, remaining concealed during the 
day. 

They were examining their traps early one morning, in a 
creek about six miles from that branch of the Missouri call- 
ed Jefferson's Fork, and were ascending in a canoe, when 
they suddenly heard a great noise, resembling the trampling 
of animals ; but they could not ascertain the fact, as the 
high perpendicular banks on each side of the river impeded 
their view. Colter immediately pronounced it to be occa- 
sioned by Indians, and advised an instant retreat, but was 
accused of cowardice by Potts, who insisted that the noise 
was caused by buffaloes, and they proceeded on. 

In a few minutes afterwards their doubts were removed, 
by a party of Indians making their appearance on both sides 
of the creek, to the amount of five or six hundred, who 
beckoned them to come ashore. As retreat was now im- 
possible, Colter turned the head of the canoe ; and, at the 
moment of its touching;, an Indian seized the rifle belon^in^ 
to Potts ; but Colter, who is a remarkably strong man, im- 
mediately retook it, and handed it. to Potts, who remained 
in the canoe, and, on receiving it, pushed off into the river. 
He had scarcely quitted the shore, when an arrow was shot 
at him, and he cried out, " Colter, I am wounded !" Colter 
remonstrated with him on the folly of attempting to escape, 
and urged him to come ashore. Instead of complying, he 
instantly levelled his rifle at the Indian, and shot him dead 
on the spot. 

This conduct, situated as he was, may appear to have 
been an act of madness, but it w r as doubtless the effect of 
sudden but sound reasoning ; for, if taken alive, he must 
have expected to be tortured to death, according to their 
custom. He was instantly pierced with arrows so numer- 
ous, that, to use Colter's words, "he ivas made a riddle of" 
They now seized Colter, stripped him entirely naked, and 
began to consult on the manner in which he should be put 
to death. They were at first inclined to set him up as a 
mark to shoot at, but the chief interfered, and seizing him 
by the shoulder, asked him if lie could run fast. 

Colter, who had been some time amongst the Kee-katso 
or Crow Indians, had in a considerable degree acquired the 
Blackfoot language, and was also well acquainted with In- 
dian customs ; he knew that he had now to run for his life, 
with the dreadful odds of five or six hundred against him, 



Lesson 140.] FIRST CLASS BOOK, 81 

and those, armed Indians ; he therefore cunning!/ replied, 
that he was a very bad runner, although he was considered 
by the hunters as remarkably swift. The chief now corn- 
manded the party to remain stationary, and led Colter out 
on the prairie three or four hundred yards, and released 
him, bidding him save himself if lie could. At this instant 
the horrid war-whoop sounded in the ears of poor Colter, 
who, urged with the hope of preserying life, ran with a 
speed at which himself was surprised. 

He proceeded towards the Jefferson Fork, having to 
traverse a plain six miles in breadth, abounding with the 
prickly pear, on which he was every instant treading with 
his naked feet. He ran nearly half way across the plain 
before he ventured to look over his shoulder, when he per- 
ceived that the Indians were very much scattered, and that 
he had gained ground to a considerable distance from the 
main body ; but one Indian, who carried a spear, was much 
before all the rest, and not more than one hundred yards 
from him. 

A faint gleam of hope now cheered the heart of Colter : 
he derived confidence from the belief that escape was within 
the bounds of possibility ; but that confidence was nearly 
fatal to him ; for he exerted himself to such a degree, that 
the blood gushed from his nostrils, and soon almost covered 
the fore part of his. body. He had now arrived within a 
mile of the river, when he distinctly heard the appalling 
sound of footsteps behind him, and every instant expected 
to feel the spear of his pursuer. Again he turned his head, 
and saw the savage not twenty yards from him. 

Determined, if possible, to avoid the expected blow, he 
suddenly stopped, turned round, and spread out his arms. 
The Indian, surprised by the suddenness of the action, and 
perhaps by the bloody appearance of Colter, also attempted 
to stop, — but. exhausted with running, he fell whilst endeav- 
ouring to throw his spear, which stuck in the ground, and 
broke. Colter instantly snatched up the pointed part, with 
which he pinned him to the earth, and then continued his 
flight. The foremost of the Indians, on arriving at the 
place, stopped till others came up to join them, when they 
set up a hideous yell. Every moment of this time was im- 
proved by Colter ; who, although fainting and exhausted, 
succeeded in gaining the skirting of the Cotton-tree wood, 
on the borders of the Fork, through which he ran ami 
plunged into the river. 

27 



U14 THE AMERICAN [Lesson I4L 

Fortunately for him, a little below this place was an 
island, against the upper part of which a raft of drift timber 
had lodged. He dived under the raft, and, after several ef- 
forts, got his head above water amongst the trunks of trees, 
covered over with smaller wood to the depth of several feet. 
Scarcely had he secured himself, when the Indians arrived 
on the river, screeching and yelling, as Colter expressed it, 
u like so many devils" They were frequently on the raft 
during the day, and were seen through the chinks by Colter, 
who was congratulating himself on his escape, until the idea 
arose that they might set the raft on fire. In horrible sus- 
pense he remained until night, when, hearing no more of 
the Indians, he dived under the raft, and swam silently 
down the river to a considerable distance, where he landed, 
and travelled all night. 

Although happy in having escaped from the Indians, his 
situation was still dreadful : he was completely naked, under 
a burning sun — the soles of his feet were entirely filled with 
the thorns of the prickly pear — he was hungry, and had no 
mean? of killing game, although he saw abundance around 
him — and was at least seven days' journey from Lisa's 
> v i*, on the Big-horn branch of the Yellow-Stone river. 
These were circumstances under which almost any man but 
an American hunter would have despaired. In seven days, 
however, during which he subsisted upon a root much es- 
teemed by the Indians of the Missouri, he arrived at the 
Fort. 



LESSON CXLI. 
TJie discontented pendulum. — Jane Taylor. 

An old clock that had stood for fifty years in a farmer's 
kitchen, without giving its owner any cause of complaint, 
early one summer's morning, before the family was stirring, 
suddenly stopped. Upon this, the dial-plate, (if we may 
credit the fable,) changed countenance with alarm ; the 
hands made a vain effort to continue their course ; the 
wheels remained motionless with surprise : the weights hung 
speechless : each member felt disposed to lay the blame on 
the others. At length the dial instituted a formal inquiry as 
to the cause of the stagnation, when hands, wheels, weights, 
with one voice, protested their innocence. 

But now a faint tick was heard below from the pendulum, 



Lesson 141.] FIRST CLASS BOOR. 3J5 

who thus spoke: — "J confess myself to be the sole cause 
of the present stoppage ; and I am willing, for the general 
satisfaction, to Design my reasons. The truth is, that I am 
tired of ticking." Upon hearing this, the old clock became 
so enraged, that it was on the very point of striking. 

" Lazy wire !" exclaimed the dial-plate, holding up its 
hands. " Very good !" replied the pendulum, " it is vastly 
easv for you, Mistress Dial, who have always, as every 
body knows, set yourself up above me, — it is vastly easy 
for you, I say, to accuse other people of laziness I You, 
who have had nothing to do all the days of your life, but to 
stare people in the face, and to amuse yourself with watch- 
ing all that goes on in the kitchen ! Think, I beseech you, 
how you would like to be shut up for life in this dark 
closet, and to wag backwards and forwards year after year. 
as I do." 

" As to that," said the dial, " is there not a window in 
your house, on purpose for you to look through ?" — <; For 
ail that," resumed the pendulum, "it is very dark here; 
and, although there is a window, I dare not stop, even for 
an instant, to look out at it. Besides, I am really tired of 
my way of life ; and if you wish, I'll tell you how I took 
this disgust at my employment. I happened this morning 
to be calculating how many times I should have to tick in 
the course of only the next twenty-four hours ; perhaps some 
of you, above there, can give me the exact sum." 

The minute-hand, being quick at figures, presently re- 
plied, " Eighty-six thousand four hundred times." " Ex- 
actly so," replied the pendulum ; " well, I appeal to you all, 
if the very thought of this was not enough to fatigue one ; 
and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by 
those of months and years, really it is no w T onder *f I felt 
discouraged at the prospect ; so, after a great deal of rea- 
soning and hesitation, thinks I to myself, I'll stop." 

The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this 
harangue ; but resuming its gravity, thus replied ; " Dear 
Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, 
industrious person as yourself, should have been overcome 
by this sudden action. It is true, you have done a great 
deal of work in your time ; so have we all, and are likely 
to do ; which, although it may fatigue us to think of, the 
question is, whether it will fatigue us to do. Would you 
now, do me the favour to give about half a dozen strokes to 
illustrate my argument ?" 



3 M> THE AMERICAN [Lesson 141. 

The pendulum complied, and ticked six times in its usual 
pace. " Now," resumed the dial, " may I be allowed to 
inquire, if that exertion was at all fatiguing or disagreeable 
to you ?" " Not in the least," replied the pendulum, " it is 
not of six strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of mil- 
lions" " Very good," replied the dial ; " but recollect, that 
though you may think of a million strokes in an instant, you 
are required to execute but one ; and that, however often 
you may hereafter have to swing, a moment will always be 

ffivfin VOll tO SwinO" IT)." " Thnt P.misirlprQtinn ctarrrroi-o ™<* 



given you to swing in.' : " That consideration staggers me, 




Upon this, the weights, who had never been accused of 
light conduct, used all their influence in urging him to pro- 
ceed ; when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, 
ine hands began to move, the pendulum began to swing, 
and, to its credit, ticked as loud as ever ; while a red beam 
of the rising sun that streamed through a hole in the kitch- 
en, shining full upon the dial-plate, it brightened up, as if 
nothing had been the matter. 

When the farmer came dawn to breakfast that morning, 
upon looking at the clock, he declared that his watch had 
gained half an hour in the night. 

MORAL. 

A celebrated modern writer says, " Take care of the 
minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves." This 
is an admirable remark, and might be very seasonably rec- 
ollected when we begin to be "weary in well-doing," from 
the thought of having much to do. The present moment is 
all we have to do with, in any sense ; the past is irrecov- 
erable ; the future is uncertain ; nor is it fair to burden one 
moment with the weight of the next. Sufficient unto the 
moment is the trouble thereof. If we had to walk a hundred 
mile!?, we should still have to set but one step at a time, and 
this process continued, would infallibly bring us to our jour- 
ney's end. Fatigue generally begins, and is always increas- 
ed, by calculating in a minute the exertion of hours. 

Thus, in looking forward to future life, let us recollect 
that we have not to sustain all its toil, to endure all its suf- 
ferings, or encounter all its crosses, at once. One moment 
comes laden with its own little burdens, then flies, and is 
succeeded by another no heavier than the last : — if one could 
be borne, so can another and another, 



lesson 142.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 317 

Even looking forward to a single day, the spirit may 
sometimes faint from an anticipation of the duties, the la- 
bours, the trials to temper and patience, that maybe expect- 
ed. Now this is unjustly laying the burden of many thou- 
sand moments upon one. Let any one resolve always to do 
right now. leaving then to do as it can : and if he were to 
live to the age of Methuselah, he would never do wrong. But 
the common errour is to resolve to act right after breakfast, 
or after dinner, or to-morrow morning, or next time ; but 
not", just now, this once, we must go on the same as ever. 

It is easy, for instance, for the most ill-tempered person 
to resolve that the next time he is provoked, he will not 
let his temper overcome him ; but the victory would be to 
subdue temper on the present provocation. If, without taking 
np the burden of the future, we would always make the sin- 
gle effort at the present moment ; while there would, at any 
one time, be very little to do, yet, by this simple process 
continued, every thing would at last be done. 

It seems easier to do right to-morrow than to-day, merely 
because we forget that when to-morrow comes, then will be 
nmo. Thus life passes with many, in resolutions for the fu- 
ture, which the present never fulfils. 

44 It is not thus with those, who, 44 by patient continuance 
in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality. 5 ' Day 
by day, minute by minute, they execute the appointed task, 
to which the requisite measure of time and strength is pro- 
portioned ; and thus, having worked while it was called day, 
they at length rest from their labours, and their works 44 fol- 
low them." 

Let us then, 44 whatever our hands find to do, do it with 
all our might, recollecting that now is the proper and accept- 
ed time." 



LESSON CXLII. 

A belief in the superintendence of Providence the only ode* 
quote support under affliction. — Wordsworth. 

One adequate support 
For the calamities of mortal life 
Exists, one only ; — an assured belief 
That the procession of our fate, howe'er 
Sad or disturbed, is ordered by a Being 

27 * 



•*id ThJfci" AMERICAN [Lesson 142. 

Of infinite benevolence and power, 
Whose everlasting purposes embrace 
All accidents, converting them to good. 

The darts of anguish fix not, where the seat 
Of suffering hath been thoroughly fortified 
By acquiescence in the will supreme, 
For time and for eternity ; — by faith, 
Faith absolute in God, including hope, 
And the defence that lies in boundless love 
Of his perfections ; with habitual dread 
Of aught unworthily conceived, endured 
Impatiently, — ill-done, or left undone, 
Fo the dishonour of his holy name. 
Soul of our souls, and Safeguard of the world, 
Sustain, — Thou only canst — the sick of heart ; 
Restore their languid spirits, and recall 
Their lost affections unto Thee and thine ! 

How beautiful this dome of sky 
find the vast hills, in fluctuation fixed 
At thy command, how awful ! Shall the soul, 
Human and rational, report of Thee 
Even less than these ? — Be mute who will, who can, 
Ifet will I praise thee with impassioned voice : 
My lips, that may forget thee in the crowd, 
Oannot forget thee here,- — where Thou hast built, 
i/or thy own glory, in the wilderness ! 
Pile didst thou constitute a Priest of thine, 
in such a temple as we now behold 
Reared for thy presence : therefore am I bound 
To worship, here, and every where, — as one 
ti&t doomed to ignorance, though forced to tread 
iTrom childhood up the ways of poverty ; 
From unreflecting ignorance preserved, 
And from debasement rescued. — By thy grace 
The particle divine remained unquenched ; 
And, mid the mild weeds of a rugged soil, 
Thy bounty caused to flourish deathless flowers, 
From paradise transplanted. Wintry age 
Impends : the frost will gather round my heart ; 
And, if they wither, I am worse than dead ! 

Come Labour when the worn-out frame requires 
Perpetual sabbath : — come disease, and want, 
^ad sad exclusion through decay of sense : — 
b-^J t68T3 me unabated trust in Thee — 



Lesson 143.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 3111 

And let thy favour to the end of life 
Inspire me with ability to seek 
Repose and hope among eternal things, — 
Father of heaven and earth ! and I am rich, 
And will possess my portion in content ! 

And what are things eternal ? — Powers depart, 
Possessions vanish, and opinions change, 
And passions hold a fluctuating seat: — 
But, by the storms of circumstance unshaken, 
And subject neither to eclipse nor wane, 
Duty exists — immutably survives ! 

What more that may not perish ? — Thou, dread Source, 
Prime, self-existing cause and end of ail, 
That, m the scale of being fill their place, 
Above our human region or helow, 
Set and sustained ; Thou, who didst wrap the cloud 
Of infancy around us, that Thyself, 
Therein, with our simplicity a while 
Might'st hold, on earth, communion undisturbed — 
Who from the anarchy of dreaming sleep, 
Or from its death-like void, with punctual care, 
And touch as gentle as the morning light, 
Restor'st us, daily, to the powers of sense, 
And reason's steadfast rule — Thou, thou alone 
Art everlasting ! 



LESSON CXLIII. 

Greece^ in 1809. — Byron. 

Fair Greece ! sad relick of departed worth ! 

Immortal, though no more ; though fallen, great! 
Who now shall lead thy scattered children forth, 

And long accustomed bondage uncreate 1 

Not such thy sons who whilome did await — 
The hopeless warriours of a willing doom — 

In bleak Thermopylae's sepulchral strait : 
O ! who that gallant spirit shall resume, 
Leap from Eurotas' banks and call thee from the tomb 1 

Spirit of Freedom ! when on Phyie's brow 
Thou satt'st with Thrasybulus and his train, 

Could'st thou forebode the dismal hour that now 
Dims the green beauty of thine Attick plain 1 



;320 THE AMERICAN [Lesson US 

Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain, 
But every carle can lord it o'er thy land ; 

Nor rise thy sons, but idly rail in vain, 
Trembling beneath the scourge of Turkish hand, 
Prom birth till death enslaved ; in word, in deed, unmanned . 

In all, save form alone, how changed! and who 

That marks the fire still sparkling in each eye, 
Who but would deem their bosoms burned anew 

With thy unquenched beam, lost Liberty ! 

And many dream, withal, the hour is nigh 
That gives them back their fathers' heritage ; 

For foreign aid and arms they fondly sigh, 
Nor solely dare encounter hostile rage, 
Or tear their name defiled from Slavery's mournful page. 

Hereditary bondmen ! know ye not 

Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow ? 
By their right arm the conquest must be wrought : — 

Will Gaul, or Muscovite, redress ye ? — No ! 

True, they may lay your proud despoilers low; 
But not for you will Freedom's altars flame. 

Shades of the Helots ! triumph o'er your foe ! 
Greece ! change thy lords : — thy state is still the same: 
by glorious day is o'er, but not thy years of shame. 

When riseth Lacedemon's hardihood, 

When Thebes Epaminondas rears again, 

When Athens' children are with arts endued, 
When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men, 
Then thou may'st be restored : — but not till then. 

A thousand years scarce serve to form a state ; 
An hour may lay it in the dust : and when 

Can man its shattered splendour renovate ? 
Vhen call its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate 1 

And yet, how lovely, in thine age of wo, 

Land of lost gods and godlike men, art thou ! 
Thy vales of ever-green, thy hills of snow 

Proclaim thee Nature's varied favourite now. 

Thy fanes, thy temples, to thy surface bow, 
Commingling slowly with heroick earth ; — 

Broke with the share of every rustick plough : — 
So perish monuments of mortal birth : 
io perish all in turn, save well-recorded worth : 



Lesson 143.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. &T 

Save where some solitary column mourns 

Above its prostrate brethren of the cave ;* 
Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns 
Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave ; 
Save o'er some warriour's half- for gotten grave. 
Vv here the gray stones and unmolested grass 

Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave, 
While strangers only not regardless pass, 
• angering, like me, perchance, to gaze and sigh "Alas!" 

Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild, 

Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields, 
Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled, 

And still his honied wealth Hymettus yields. 

There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds, 
The freeborn wanderer of thy mountain air. 

Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds, 
Still in his beams Mendeli's marbles glare : 
Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair. 

Where'er we tread 'tis haunted, holy ground: 
No earth of thine is lest in vulgar mould ! 

But one vast realm of wonder spreads around, 
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told, 
Till the sense aches with gazing, to behold 

The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon. 
Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold 

Defies the power which crushed thy temples gone : 
Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Marathoi; 

Long, to the remnants of thy splendour past, 

Shall pilgrims, pensive, but unwearied, throng; 
Long shall the voyager, with th' Ionian blast, 

Hail the bright clime of battle and of song. 

Lon^ shall thine annals and immortal tongue 
Fill with thy fame the youth of many a shore ; 

Boast of the as-ed ! lesson of the y 011112: 1 
Which sages venerate and bards adore, 
As Pallas and the Muse unveil their awful lore. 

Of Mount Feiitelicus, from which the marble was dug that con- 
structed the publick edifices at Athens. The modern name is Mount 
Mendel i. In this mountain an immense cave, formed by the quarries, 



$25 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 144 



LESSON CXLIV. 

The Greek Emigrant's Song. — J. G. Percival. 
Now launch the boat upon the wave — 



The wind is blowing off the shore — 
I will not live, a cowering slave, 

In these polluted islands more. 
Beyond the wild, dark-heaving sea, 
There is a better home for me. 

The wind is blowing off the shore, 
And out to sea the streamers fly — 

I iy musick is the dashing roar, 
My canopy the stainless sky — 

It bends above, so fair a blue, 

That heaven seems opening to my view. 

I will not live, a cowering slave, 

Though all the charms of life may shine 
Around me, and the land, the wave, 

And sky be drawn in tints divine. — 
Give lowering skies and rocks to me 
If there my spirit can be free. 

Sweeter than spicy gales, that blow 

From orange groves with wooing breath, 

The winds may from these islands flow, — 
But, 'tis an atmosphere of death, — 

The lotus, which transformed the brave 

And haughty to a willing slave. 

Softer than Minder's winding stream, 
The wave may ripple on this coast, 

And brighter than the morning beam, 
In golden swell be round it tost — 

Give me a rude and stormy shore, 

So power can never threat me more. 

Brighter than all the tales, they tell 
Of Eastern pomp and pageantry, 

Our sunset skies in glory swell, 

Hung round with glowing tapestry :— 

The h or r ours of a winter storm 

Swell brighter o'er a Freeman's form. 



Lesson 145.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 323 

The Spring may here with Autumn twine, 
And both combined may rule the year, 

And fresh-blown flowers and racy wine 
In frosted clusters still be near: — 

Dearer the wild and snowy hills 

Where hale and ruddy Freedom smiles. 

Beyond the wild, dark-heaving sea, 

And Ocean's stormy vastness o'er, 
There is a better home for me, 

A welcomer and dearer shore : 
There hands, and hearts, and souls, are twined, 
And free the Man, and free the mind. 



LESSON. CXLV. 

Song of the Greeks, 1822. — Campbell,. 

Again to the battle, Achaians ! 

Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance ; 
C ur land, — the first garden of Liberty's tree — 
has been, and shall yet be, the land of the free ; 

For the cross of our faith is replanted, 

The pale dying crescent is daunted, 
And we march that the foot-prints of Mahomet's slave? 
May be washed out in blood from our forefathers' graves. 

Their spirits are hovering o'er us, 

A? I the sword shall to glory restore us. 

Ah ! what though no succour advances, 
Nor Christendom's chivalrous lances 

Are stretched in our aid ? — Be the combat car own ! 

And we'll perish or conquer more proudly alone : 
For we've sworn, by our country's assaulters, 
By the virgins they've dragged from our altars, 
our massacred patriots, our children in chains, 

By our heroes of old, and their blood in our veins, 
That living, we will be victorious, 
Or that dying, our deaths shall be glorious 

A breath of submission we breathe not : 
The sword that we've drawn we will sheath not ; 
Its scabbard is left where our martyrs are laid, 
And the vengeance of ages has whetted its blade. 



324 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 146. 

Earth may hide — waves ingulph — lire consume us, 

But they shall not to slavery doom us : 
If they rule, it shall be o'er our ashes and graves : — 
But we've smote them already with fire on the ivavcs, 

And new triun: hs on land are before us. 

To the charge ! — -Heaven's banner is o'er us. 

This day — shall ye blush for its story ? 

Or brighten your lives with its glory ? — 
Our women — Oh, say, shall they shriek in despair, 
Or embrace us from conquest, with wreaths in their hair ? 

Accursed may his memory blacken, 

If a coward there be that would slacken, 
Till we've trampled the turban, and shown ourselves worth 
Being sprung from, and named for, the godlike of earth. 

Strike home ! — and the world shall revere us 

As heroes descended from heroes. 

Old Greece lightens up with emotion 
Her inlands, her isles of the ocean : 
Fanes rebuilt, and fair towns, shall with jubilee ring, 
And the Nine shall new-hallow their Helicon's spring. 
Our hearths shall be kindled in gladness, 
That were cold, and extinguished in sadness ; 
Whilst our maidens shall dance with their white waving arms, 
Singing joy to the brave that delivered their charm? , 
When the blood of yon Mussulman cravens 
Shall have crimsoned the beaks of our ravens. 



LESSON CXLYI. 

Letter from the British £j?y, in Virginia. — Wirt. 

Richmond, September 22, 1803. 

I have just returned from an interesting morning's ride. 
My object was to visit the site of the Indian town, Powha- 
tan ; which, you will remember, was the metropolis of the 
dominions of Pocahuntas' father, and, very probably, the 
birthplace of that celebrated princess. 

The town was built on the river, about two miles below 
the ground now occupied by Richmond : that is, about two 
miles below the head of tide water. 

Aware of the slight manner in which the Indians hare 



Lesson 146 ] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 325 

always constructed their habitations, I was not at all disap- 
pointed in finding no vestige of the old town. But as I 
traversed the ground over which Pocahuntas had so often 
bounded and frolicked in the sprightly morning of her 
youth, I could not help recalling the principal features of 
her history, and heaving a sigh of mingled pity and venera- 
tion to her memory. 

Good Heaven ! What an eventful life was hers ! To 
speak of nothing else, the arrival of the English in her fa- 
ther's dominions must have appeared (as indeed it turned 
out to be) a most portentous phenomenon. It is not easy 
for us to conceive the amazement and consternation which 
must have filled her mind and that of her nation at the first 
aimearance of our countrymen. Their great ship, with all 
her sails spread, advancing in solemn majesty to the shore ; 
their complexion ; their dress ; their language ; their do- 
mestick animals ; their cargo of new and glittering wealth ; 
and then the thunder and irresistible force of their artillery ; 
the distant country announced by them, far beyond the 
great water, of which the oldest Indian had never heard, 
or thought, or dreamed — all this was so new^, so wonder- 
ful, so tremendous, that, I do seriously suppose, the person- 
al descent of an army of Milton's celestial angels, robed in 
light, sporting in the bright beams of the sun and redoubling 
their splendour, making divine harmony with their golden 
harps, or playing with the holt and chasing the rapid light- 
ning of heaven, would excite not more astonishment in 
Great Britain, than did the debarkation of the English 
among the aborigines of Virginia. 

Poor Indians ! Where are they now ? Indeed, this is a 
truly afflicting consideration. The people here may say 
what they please ; but, on the principles of eternal truth 
and justice, they have no right to this country. They say 

that they have bought it. — Bought it ! Yes ; — of whom ! 

Of the poor trembling natives who knew that refusal would 
be vain ; and who strove to make a merit of necessity by 
seeming to yield with grace, what they knew that they had 
not the power to retain. Such a bargain might appease the 
conscience of a gentleman of the green bag, "worn and 
hackneyed" in the arts and frauds of his profession ; but in 
heaven's chancery, there can be little doubt that it has been 
long since set aside on the ground of compulsion. 

Poor wretches ! No wonder that they are so implacably 
vindictive against the white people ; no wonder that the 

38 



326 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 146. 

i age of resentment is handed down from generation to 
generation ; no wonder that they refuse to associate and 
mix permanently with their unjust and cruel invaders and 
exterminators ; no wonder that in the unabating spite and 
frenzy of conscious impotence, they wage an eternal war, 
as well as they are able ; that they triumph in the rare op- 
portunity of revenge ; that they dance, sing, and rejoice, 
as the victim shrinks and faints amid the flames, when tney 
imagine all the crimes of their oppressors collected on 
his head, and fancy the spirits of their injured forefathers 
hovering over the scene, smiling with ferocious delight at 
the gratefu spectacle, and feasting on the precious odour 
as it arises from the burning blood of the white man. 

Yet the people, here, affect to wonder that the Indians 
are so very unsusceptible of civilization ; or, in other words, 
that they so obstinately refuse to adopt the manners of the 
white men. Go, Virginian ; erase, from the Indian nation, 
the tradition of their wrongs ; make them forget, if you 
can, that once this charming country was theirs ; that over 
these fields and through these forests, their beloved fore- 
fathers, once, in careless gayety, pursued their sports and 
hunted their game ; that every returning day found them 
the sole, the peaceful, the happy proprietors of this exten- 
sive and beautiful domain. Make them forget too, if you 
can, that in the midst of all this innocence, simplicity, and 
bliss — the white man came ; and lo ! — the animated chase, 
the feast, the dance, the song of fearless, thoughtlecs joy 
were over ; that ever since, they have been made to drink 
of the K ter cup of humiliation ; treated like dogs ; their 
lives, their Hberties, the sport of the white men ; their coun 
try and the graves of their fathers torn from them, in cruel 
succession: until, driven from river to river, from forest to 
forest, and through a period of two hundred years, rolled 
back, nation upon nation, they find themselves fugitives, 
vagrants and strangers in their own country, and look for- 
ward to the certain period when their descendants will be 
totally extinguished by wars, driven at the point of the bay- 
onet into the western ocean, or reduced to a fate still more 
deplorable and horrid, the condition of slaves. 

Go, administer the cup of oblivion to recollections and 
anticipations like these, and then you will cease to complain 
that the Indian refuses to be civilized. But until then, sure- 
ly it is nothing wonderful that a nation even yet bleeding 
afresh, from the memory of ancient wrongs, perpetually 






Lesson 146.J FIRST CLASS BOOK. 327 

agonized by new outrages, and goaded into desperation and 
madness at the prospect of the certain ruin, which awaits 
their descendants, should hate the authors of their miseries, 
of their desolation, their destruction ; should hate their 
manners, hate their colour, their language, their name, and 
every thing that belongs to them. No ; never, until time 
shall wear out the history of their sorrows and their suffer- 
ings, will the Indian be brought to love the white man, and 
to imitate his manners. 

Great God ! To reflect that the authors of all these 
wrongs were our own countrymen, our forefathers, profes- 
sors of the meek and benevolent religion of Jesus ! O ! it 
was impious ; it was unmanly ; poor and pitiful ! Gracious 
Heaven ! what had these poor people done ? The simple 
inhabitants of these peaceful plains, what wrong, what inju- 
ry, had they offered to the English ? My soul melts with 
pity and shame. 

As for the present inhabitants, it must be granted that 
they are comparatively innocent : unless indeed they also 
have encroached under the guise of treaties, which they 
themselves have previously contrived to render expedient 
or necessary to the Indians. 

Whether this have been the case or not, I am too mudi a 
stranger to the interiour transactions of this country to de- 
cide. But it seems to me that were I a president of the 
United States, I would glory in going to the Indians, throM - 
ing myself on mv knees before them, and saying to theuv 
* Indians, friends, brothers, O! forgive my coun f> v~ iiien 
Deeply have our forefathers wronged vo>v '^ tne J have 
forced us to eont;^ ti^ ^ronjr - -xiect, brothers ; it was 
not our fault that we were l^m m your country ; but now, 
wo '--„;/" °toer honv • ~ imve no wh ere else to rest our 
*^t. Will you ^t, then, permit us to remain ? Can vou 
not forgive even us, innocent as we are ? If you can O ' 
^&^r° m \: J**' ina Z° S l °^ Mothers ; and since 

and let us ^SrfnSt^' ^T *• h ° me in J™***, 

I believe tha a I fame affectionate family." 

lowed up hvTcaZ g T llty ° f sentim ^t like this, fol- 
part of fce^o^ ° f C °" duCt * *> 

to bury thctomi^^ States would go farther 

the Indians than «llTi P roduc o a fraternization with 

that can be 'Sfe -ft"** a " d —noS 
means always a e > bv\ c ]» * a " d defeated as these latter 
} aie, D } a claim of rights on the part of the 



328 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 146. 

white people which the Indians know to be false and base- 
less. Let me not be told that the Indians are too dark and 
fierce to be affected by generous and noble sentiments. I 
will not believe it. Magnanimity can never be lost on a 
nation which has produced an Alknomok, a Logan, and a 
Pocahuntas. 

The repetition of the name of this amiable princess brings 
ine back to the point from which I digressed. I wonder 
that the Virginians, fond as they are of anniversaries, have 
instituted no festival, or order, in honour of her memory. 
For my own part, I have little doubt, from the histories 
which we have of the first attempts at colonizing their 
country, that Pocahuntas deserves to be considered as the 
patron deity of the enterprise. When it is remembered 
how long the colony struggled to get a footing ; how often 
sickness, or famine, neglect at home, mismanagement here, 
and the hostilities of the natives, brought it to the brink of 
ruin ; through what a tedious lapse of time it alternately 
languished and revived, sunk and rose, sometimes hanging, 
like Addison's lamp, " quivering at a point," then sud- 
denly shooting up into a sickly and shortlived flame ; in 
one word, when we recollect how near and how often it 
verged towards total extinction, maugre the patronage of 
Pocahuntas ; there is the strongest reason to believe that, 
but for her patronage, the anniversary cannon of the fourth 
of July would never have resounded throughout the United 
States. 

x " h not probable, that this sensible and amiable woman, 
perceiving i^ _ SU p er i or ity of the Europeans, forseeing the 
probability ol ■ ll - ^hhigutioaa of lioar oo««tr 7 men, and 
anxious as well to sorten u^ destinv, as to save the*need- 
less effusion of human blood, i .°f 5 ~- * h y hei — ^u -ah 
"Mr Rolfe, to hasten the abolition of all distinction betw- 
Indians and white men ; to bind their interests and affec- 
tions by the nearest^* meet endearing tic. and 1 to make 
them regard themsAres, as one people, the cmlH— , 

same great famdgfc w»npvnlent views, and I have 

If such wereJPwise ^nd ■ benevolent vie , 

no doubt but th# were, ho* ; P J J^^Xt and indig- 
the British court? No wonder at theijt ^ ^ 



Lessen 14?.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 329 

contemptuous and insulting point of view in which she found 
that her nation was regarded. 

Unfortunate princess ! She deserved a happier fate ! But 
I am consoled by these reflections : first, that she sees her 
descendants among the most respectable families in Vir 
ginia: and that they are not only suneriour to the false 

> — ' mi w » 

shame of disavowing her as their ancestor, but that they 
pride themselves, and with reason too, on the honour of 
their descent ; secondly, that she herself has gone to a conn- 
try, where she rinds her noble wishes realized ; where the 
distinction of colour is no more : but where indeed, it is per 
fectly immaterial "what complexion an Indian or an African 
sun may have burned" on the pilgrim. 



LESSON CXLVIL 

Thanksgiving. — Crafts. 

It is a wise and venerable custom, in New-England, to 

set apart one day in the year for the voluntary commemo- 
ration of the divine favour, and goodness'; and it is pleasing 
to see so correct a custom gaining ground iii our country. 

Not that in New-England, or any where else, it requires a 
year to roll over our heads to convince us of the everlasting 
mercies of Heaven. The sublime structure of the universe; 
this beautiful landscape, the earth ; the magnificent ocean, 
now assailing the clouds with its foam, and then nestling the 
little birds on its billows : the glorious sun, and these sweet 
sentinels of light, the stars; the voice of the thunder, and 
the song of the linnet : who knows any thing of these, and 
can. for a moment, doubt the supreme benevolence of the 
Almighty ! 

Yet. although eyery instant be fruitful in blessings, we are 
inattentive, and do not regard : we are ignorant, and do not 
appreciate : we are ungrateful, and do not consider ; we are 
selfish, and will not understand them. The best require to 
be reminded of their duty, and the thoughtless must be told 
of it always. It is wise, therefore, to select the season of 
gladness, and point to the source of good. When the hus- 
bandman rejoices for the harvest is ripe, and the poor go 

into the field to glean 

The sheaves, which God ordains to bless 
The widow, and the fatherless, 

it becomes man to acknowledge the reward of his labours, 

23* _ 



330 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 148. 

the blessing of his hopes, and the goodness of the giver of 
all things. Then, especially, should he pour forth the grate- 
ful incense of his praise, and his devotion. 

The Almighty deserves the praise of his creatures. The 
flower pays its worship in fragrant exhalation, and the lark 
when he carols at the gate of heaven, in praise of their glo- 
rious Maker. The sun burns incense daily, and the virgin 
stars keep nightly vigils ; the mysterious anthem of the for- 
est proclaims its devotion, and the sea declares its obedience 
as it murmurs into repose. Every moment of time bears 
an errand of mercy, and should not be allowed to pass with- 
out an acknowledgment of gratitude. 

" Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles, 
Crown the great hymn.'-' 



LESSON CXLVIII. 

New-England. — J. G. Percival. 

Hail to the land whereon we tread, 

Our fondest boast ; 
The sepulchre of mighty dead, 
The truest hearts that ever bled, 
Who sleep on Glory's brightest bed, 

A fearless host : 
No slave is here— our unchained feet 
Walk freely, as the waves that beat 

Our coast. 

Our fathers crossed the ocean's wave 

To seek this shore ; 
They left behind the coward slave 
To welter in his living grave ; — 
With hearts unbent, and spirits brave, 

They sternly bore 
Such toils, as meaner souls had quelled ; 
But souls like these, such toils impelled 

To soar. 

Hail to the morn, when first they stood 

On Bunker's height, 
And, fearless, stemmed the invading flood, 
And wrote our dearest rights in blood, 
And mowed in ranks the hireling broody 

In desperate fight ! 







Lesson 149.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. , 321 

O ! 'twas a proud, exulting day, 
For even our fallen fortunes lay 
In light. 

There is no other land like thee, 

No dearer shore ; 
Thou art the shelter of the free ; 
The home, the port of Liberty, 
Thou hast been, and shalt ever be, 

Till time is o'er. 
Ere I forget to think upon 
My land, shall mother curse the son 

She bore. 

Thou art the firm, unshaken rock, 

On which we rest ; 
And, rising from thy hardy stock, 
Thy sons the tyrant's frown shall mock, 
And Slavery's galling chains unlock, 

And free the oppressed : 
All-, who the wreath of Freedom twine, 
Beneath the shadow of their vine 

Are blest. 

We love thy rude and rocky shore, 

And here we stand — 
Let foreign navies hasten o'er, 
And on our heads their fury pour, 
And peal their cannon's loudest roar, 

And storm our land ; 
They still shall find, our lives are given, 
To die for home ; — and leant on Heaven, 

Our hand. 



LESSON CXL1X. 

Conclusion of a Discourse delivered at Plymouth, Mass. Dee 
22d. 1820, in commemoration of the first settlement in Netc- 
England. — By Daniel Webster. 

Let us not forget the religious character of our origin. 
Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration 
for the Christian religion. They journeyed in its light, and 
lab iured in its hope. They sought to incorporate its prin« 

■ 



332 THE AMERICAN [Lessoti 149. 

ciples with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its 
influence through all their institutions, civil, political, and 
literary. Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend their 
influence still more widely ; in the full conviction that that 
is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree 
of the mild and peaceable spirit of Christianity. 

The hours of this day are rapidly flying, and this occa- 
sion will soon be passed. Neither we nor our children can 
expect to behold its return. They are in the distant regions 
of futurity, they exist only in the all-creating power of God, 
who shall stand here, a hundred years hence, to trace, 
through us, their descent from the pilgrims, and to survey, 
as we have now surveyed, the progress of their country 
during the lapse of a century. We would anticipate their 
concurrence with us in our sentiments of deep regard foi 
our common ancestors. We would anticipate and partake 
the pleasure with which they will then recount the steps of 
New-England's advancement. On the morning of that day 
although it will not disturb us in our repose, the voice of ac- 
clamation and gratitude, commencing on the rock of Plvm- 
<>uth, shall be transmitted through millions of the sons ol 
f he pilgrims, till it lose itself in the murmurs of the Pa- 
c -<^k seas. 

We would leave, for the consideration of those who shall 
then occupy our places, some proof that we hold the bless- 
ings transmitted from our fathers in just estimation ; some 
proof of our attachment to the cause of good government, 
and of civil and religious liberty ; some proof of a sincere 
and ardent desire to promote every thing which may enlarge 
the understandings and improve the hearts of men. And 
when, from the long distance of a hundred years, they shall 
look back upon us, they shall know, at least, that we pos- 
sessed affections, which, running backward, and warming 
with gratitude for what our ancestors have done for our 
happiness, run forward also to our posterity, and meet them 
with cordial salutation, ere yet they have arrived on the 
shore of Being. 

Advance, then, ye future generations ! We would hail 
you, as you rise in your long succession, to lill the places 
which we now fill, and to taste the blessings of existence 
where we are passing, and soon shall have passed, our hu- 
man duration. We bid you welcome to this pleasant land of 
the Fathers. We bid you welcome to the healthful skies, 
and the verdant fields of New-England We greet your 




Lesson 150.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 333 

accession to the great inheritance which we have enjoyed. 
We welcome you to the blessings of good government, and 
religious liberty. We welcome you to the treasures of sci- 
ence and the delights of learning. We welcome you to the 
transcendent sweets of domestick life, to the happiness of 
kindred, and parents, and children. We welcome you to 
the immeasurable blessings of rational existence, the im- 
mortal hope of Christianity, and the light of everlasting 
Truth! 



LESSON CL. 

Effects oj jLju,~i,„Jon upon individuals, — Its importance to the 

publick, — Wordsworth. 

Alas ! »what differs more than man from man ! 
And whence this difference ? — whence but from himself 1 
For, see the universal race, endowed 
With the same upright form ! The sun is fixed. 
And the infinite magnificence of heaven, 
Within the reach of every human eye : 
The sleepless ocean murmurs in all ears ; 
The vernal field infuses fresh delight 
Into all hearts. Throughout the world of sense 
Even as an object is sublime or fair, 
That abject is iaid open to the view 
Without reserve or veil ; and as a power 
Is salutary, or its influence sweet, 
Are each and all enabled to perceive 
That power, that influence, by impartial law. 

Conscience to guide and check ; and death 

To be foretasted,— immortality presumed. 

Strange then, nor less than monstrous might be deemed 

The failure, if the Almighty, to this point 

Liberal and undistinguishing, should hide 

The excellence of moral qualities 

From common understanding ; leaving truth 

And virtue, difficult, abstruse and dark ; 

Hard to be won, and only by a few : — 

Strange, should he deal herein with nice respects, 



334 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 150 

And frustrate all the rest ! Believe it not : 

The primal duties shine aloft — like stars ; 

The charities, that sooth, and heal, and bless, 

Are scattered at the feet of man — like flowers. 

The generous inclination, the just rule, 

Kind wishes, and good actions, and pure thoughts — 

No mystery is here ; no special boon 

For high and not for low, — for proudly graced 

And not for meek in heart. The smoke ascends 

To heaven as lightly from the cottage hearth, 

As from the haughty palace. He whose soul 

Ponders its true equality, may walk 

The fields of earth with gratitude and hope ; 

Yet, in that meditation, will he find 

Motive to sadder grief, when his thoughts turn 

From nature's justice to the social wrongs 

That make such difference betwixt man and man. 

Oh for the coming of that glorious time 
When, prizing knowledge as her noblest wealth* 
And best protection, this imperial realm* 
While she exacts allegiance, shall admit 
An obligation on her part, to teach 
Them who are born to serve her and obey ^ 
Binding herself by statute to secure, 
For all the children whom her soil maintains, 
The rudiments of Letters, and to inform 
The mind with moral and religious truth, 
Both understood and practised — so that none 
However destitute, be left to droop, 
By timely culture urlsustained, or run 
Into a wild disorder ; or be forced 
A savage horde among the civilized, 
A servile band among the lordly free ! 

This right — as sacred, almost, as the right 
To exist and be supplied with sustenance 
And means of life, — the lisping babe proclaim* 
To be inherent in him, by Heaven's will, 
For the protection of his innocence ; 
And the rude boy who knits his angry brow, 
And lifts his wilful hand on mischief bent, 
Or turns the sacred faculty of speech 

* The British empire. 



Wesson 151.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 335 

To impious use — by process indirect, 

Declares his due, while he makes known his need* 

This sacred right is fruitlessly announced, 
This universal plea in vain addressed, 
To eyes and ears of parents, who themselves 
Did, in the time of their necessity, 
Urge it in vain ; and, therefore, like a prayer 
That from the humblest floor ascends to heaven, 
It mounts to reach the State's parental ear ; 
Who, if indeed she own a mother's heart, 
And be not most unfeelingly devoid 
Of orratitude to Providence, will grant 
The unquestionable good. 

The discipline of slavery is unknown 
Amongst us, — hence the more do we require 
The discipline of virtue: — order else 
Cannot subsist, nor confidence, nor peace. 
Thus, duties rising out of good possessed, 
And prudent v caution needful to avert 
Impending evil, do alike require 
That permanent provision should be made 
For the whole people to be taught and trained :— ~ 
So shall licentiousness and black resolve 
Be rooted out, and virtuous habits take 
Their place ; and genuine piety descend, 
Like an inheritance, from age to age. 



LESSON CLL 

An Evening in the Grave-yard. — American Watchman. 

The moon is up, the evening star 

Shines lovely from its home of blue — 
The fox-howl's heard on the fell afar, 

And the earth is robed in a sombre hue ; 
From the shores of light the beams come down, 
On the river's breast, and cold gra-e stone 

The kindling fires o'er heaven so bright, 

Look sweetly out from yon azure sea ; 
While the glittering pearls of the dewy night. 

Seem trying to mimick their brilliancy ; 
Yet all those charms no joy can bring 
To the dead, n the cold grave slumbering. 



336 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 15% 

To numbers wild, yet sweet withal, 

Should the harp be struck o'er the sleepy pillow ; 
Soft as the murmuring, breezy fall, 

Of sighing winds on the foamy billow ; 
For who would disturb in their silent bed, 
The fancied dreams of the lowly dead ? 

Oh ! is there one in this world can say, 

That the soul exists not after death ! 
That the powers which illumine this mould of clay 

Are but a puff of common breath ! 
Oh ! come this night to the grave and see 
The sleepy sloth of your destiny. 

The night's soft voice, in breathings low, 
Imparts a calm to the breast of the weeper * 

The water's dash and murmuring flow 
No more will sooth the ear of the sleeper, 

Till he, who slept on Judah's plains, 

Shall burst death's cold and icy chains. 

I've seen the moon gild the mountain's brow ; 

I've watch'd the mist o'er the river stealing, 
But ne'er did I feel in my breast till now, 

So deep, so calm, and so holy a feeling : 
'Tis soft as the thrill which memory throws 
Athwart the soul in the hour of repose. 

Thou Father of all ! in the worlds of light, 

Fain would my spirit aspire to thee ; 
And thro' the scenes of this gentle night, 

Behold the dawn of eternity : 
For this is the path, which thou hast given, 
The only path to the bliss of Heaven. 



LESSON CLII. 

A natural mirror. — Wordsworth. 

Behold, the shades of afternoon have fallen 
Upon this flowery slope ; and see — beyond — 
The lake, though bright, is of a placid blue ; 
As if preparing for the peace of evening. 
How temptingly the landscape shines ! — The air 



Lesson 153/J FIRST CLASS BOOK. 337 

Breathes invitation ; easv is the walk 

To the lake's margin, where a boat lies moored 

Beneath her sheltering tree. — 

***** 

Forth we went, 
And down the valley, on the streamlet's bank, 
Pursued our way, a broken company, 
Mute or conversing, single or in pairs. — 
Thus having reached a bridge that overarched 
The hasty rivulet, where it lay becalmed 
In a deep pool, by happy chance we saw 
A two-fold image ; — on the grassy bank 
A snow-white ram, rind, in the crystal flood, 
Another and the same ! — Most beautiful, 
On the s^een turf, with his imperial front 
Shaggy and bold, and wreathed horns superb, 
The breathing creature stood ; as beautiful 
Beneath him showed his shadowy counterpart. 
Each had his glowing mountains, each his sky, 
And each seemed centre of his own fair world : — - 
Antipodes unconscious of each other, 
Yet, in partition, with their several spheres, 
Blended in perfect stillness, to our sight ! 

Ah ! what a pity were it to disperse, 
Or to disturb so fair a spectacle ; 
And yet a breath can do it. 



LESSON CLIII. 

Burial places near Constantinople. — Anastasius. 

A dense and motionless crowd of stagnant vapours ever 
shrouds th<$se dreary realms. From afar a chilling sensa- 
tion informs the traveller that he approaches their dark and 
dismal precincts ; and as he enters them, an icy blast, risino- 
from their inmost bosom, rushes forth to meet his breath, 
suddenly strikes his chest, and seems to oppose his progress. 
His very horse snuffs up the deadly efHuvia with signs of 
manifest terrour, and, exhaling' a cold and clammy sweat, 
advances reluctantly over a hollow ground, which shakes 
as he treads it, and loudly re-echoes his slow and fearfu? 
step. 

29 



338 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 153. 






So long and so busily has time been at work to fill this 
chosen spot, — so repeatedly has Constantinople poured into 
this ultimate receptacle almost its whole contents, that the 
capital of the living, spite of its immense population, scarce 
counts a single breathing inhabitant for every ten silent in- 
mates of this city of the dead. Already do its fields of 
blooming sepulchres stretch far away on every side, across 
the brow of the hills and the bend of the valleys ; already 
are the avenues which cross each other at every step in this 
domain of death so lengthened, that the weary stranger, 
from whatever point he comes, still finds before him many 
a dreary mile of road between marshalled tombs and mourn- 
ful cypresses, ere he reaches his journey's seemingly re- 
ceding end ; and yet, every year does this common patri- 
mony of all the heirs to decay still exhibit a rapidly increas- 
ing size, a fresh and wider line of boundary, and a new 
belt of young plantations, growing up between new flower- 
beds of graves. 

As I hurried on through this awful repository, the pale 
far-stretching monumental ranges rose in sight, and again 
receded rapidly from my view in such unceasing succession, 
that at last I fancied some spell possessed my soul, some 
fascination kept locked my senses ; and 1 therefore still in- 
creased my speed, as if only on quitting these melancholy 
abodes I could hope to shake off my waking delusion. Nor 
was it until, near the verge of the funereal foi^st through 
v* hich I had been pacing for a full hour, a brighter light 
ag un gleamed athwart the ghost-like trees, that I stopped 
to nok round, and to take a more leisurely survey of the 
ground which I had traversed. 

" There," said I to myself, " lie, scarce one foot beneath 
the surface of a swelling soil, ready to burst at every point 
with its festering contents, more than half the generations 
whom death has continued to mow down for near four cen- 
turies in the vast capital of Islamism. There lie, side by 
side, on the same level, in cells the size of their bodies, and 
only distinguished by a marble turban somewhat longer or 
deeper, — somewhat rounder or squarer, — personages in life 
far as heaven and earth asunder, in birth, in station, in gifts 
of nature, and in long-laboured acquirements. There lie, 
i unk alike in their last sleep, — alike food for the worm that 
Vves on death — the conqueror who filled the universe with 
li is name, and the peasant scarce known in his own hamlet ; 
Sultan Mahmoud, and Sultan Mahmoud's perhaps more de- 



Lesson 154.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 339 

.serving horse; elders bending under the weight of years, 
and infants of a single hour ; men with intellects of angels, 
and men with understandings inferiour to those of brutes ; 
the beauty of Georgia, and the black of Sennaar; Visiers, 
beggars, heroes, and women. 

There, perhaps, mingle their insensible dust the corrupt 
judge and the innocent he condemned, the murdered man 
and his murderer, the master and his meanest slave. There 
v : le insects consume the hand of the artist, the brain of the 
philosopher, the eye which sparkled with celestial fire, and 
the lip from which flowed irresistible eloquence. All the 
soil pressed by me for the last two hours, was once ani- 
mated like myself; all the mould which now clings to my 
feet, once formed limbs and features similar to my own. 
Like myself, ail this black unseemly dust once thought, and 
willed, and moved ! — And I, creature of clay like those 
here cast around ; I, who travel through life as I do on this 
road, with the remains of past generations strewed* along 
my trembling path ; I, whether my journey last a few hours 
more or less, must still, like those here deposited, shortly re- 
join the silent tenants of some cluster of tombs, be stretched 
out by the side of some already sleeping corpse, and while 
time continues its course, have all my hopes and fears — all 
my faculties and prospects — laid ai rest on a conch of clam- 
my earth. 



LESSON CLIV. 

Thoughts on Letter-icriting. — Blackwood's Ed. Magazine. 

Epistolary as well as personal intercourse is, according 
to the mode in which it is carried on, one of the pleasantest 
or most irksome things in the world. It is delightful to drop 
in on a friend without the solemn prelude! of invitation and 
acceptance — to join a social circle, where we may suffer our 
minds and hearts to relax and expand in the happy conscious- 
ness of perfect security from invidious remark and carping 
criticism ; where we may give the reins to the sportiveness 
of innocent fancy, or the enthusiasm of warm-hearted feel- 
ing ; where we may talk sense or nonsense, (I pity people 
who cannot talk nonsense,) without fear of being looked 

# Pron. strowed. t Pron. prel'ude. 



340 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 154. 

into icicles by the coldness of unimaginative people — living 
pieces of clock-work, who dare not tuemselves utter a word, 
or lift up a little finger, without first weighing the important 
point, in the hair balance of propriety and good breeding. 

It is equally delightful to let the pen talk freely, and un- 
premeditatedly, and to one by whom we are sure of being 
understood ; but a formal letter, like a ceremonious morning 
visit, is tedious alike to the writer and receiver — for the 
most part spun out with unmeaning phrases, trite observa- 
tions, complimentary flourishes, and protestations of respect 
and attachment, so far not deceitful, as they never deceive 
any body. Oh the misery of having to compose a set, 
proper, well worded, correctly pointed, polite, elegant epis- 
tle ! — one that must have a beginning, a middle, and an end, 
as methodically arranged and portioned out as the several 
parts of a sermon under three heads, or the three gradations 
of shade in a school-girl's first landscape ! 

For my part, I would rather be set to beat hemp, or 
weed in a turnip-field, than to write such a letter exactly 
every month, or every fortnight, at the precise point of time 
from the date of our correspondent's last letter, that he or 
she wrote after the reception of ours — as if one's thoughts 
bubbled up to the well-head, at regular periods, a pint at 
a time, to be bottled off for immediate use. Thought ! what 
has thought to do in such a correspondence ? It murders 
thought, quenches fancy, wastes time, spoils paper, wears 
out innocent goose-quills — " I'd rather be a kitten, and cry 
mew ! than one of those same" prosing letter-mongers. 

Surely in this age of invention something may be struck 
out to obviate the necessity (if such necessity exists) of so 
tasking — degrading the human intellect. Why should not a 
sort of mute barrel-organ be constructed on the plan of 
those that play sets of tunes and country dances, to indite 
a catalogue of polite epistles calculated for all the ceremo- 
nious observances of good breeding ? Oh the unspeakable 
relief (could such a machine be invented) of having only 
to grind an answer to one of one's " dear five hundred 
friends !" 

Or, suppose there were to be an epistolary steam-engine 
-—Ay, that's the thing — Steam does every thing now-a-days. 
Dear Mr. Brunei, set about it, I beseech you, and achieve 
the most glorious of your undertaking!. The block-machine 
at Portsmouth would be nothing to it— That spares manual 
labour — this would relieve mental drudgery, and thousands 



Lesson 154.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 841 

yet unborn But hold ! I am not so sure that the fe- 
male sex in general may quite enter into my views of the 
subject. 

Those who pique themselves on the elegant style of their 
billets, or those fair scribblerinas just emancipated from 
boarding-school restraints, or the dragonism of their gover- 
nesses, just beginning to taste the refined enjoyments of sen- 
timental, confidential, soul-breathing correspondence with 
some Angelina, Seraphina, or Laura Matilda ; to indite 
beautiful little notes, with long-tailed letters, upon vellum 
paper with pink margins sealed with sweet mottoes, and 
dainty devices, the whole deliciously perfumed with musk 
and attar of roses — young ladies, who collect " copies of 
verses," and charades — keep albums— copy patterns — make 
bread seals — work little dogs upon footstools, and paint 
flowers without shadow — Oh ! no — the epistolary steam-en- 
gine will never come into vogue with those dear crea- 
tures — They must enjoy the " feast of reason, and the flow 
of soul," and they must write — Ye gods ! how they do write ! 

But for another genus of female scribes — L T nhappy inno- 
cents ! who groan in spirit at the dire necessity of having 
to hammer out one of those aforesaid terrible epistles — who 
having in due form dated the gilt-edged sheet that lies out- 
spread before them in appalling whiteness — having also 
felicitously achieved the graceful exordium, " My dear Mrs. 

P." or <; My dear Lady V." or Ci My dear any thing 

else," feel that they are in for it. and must say something — 
Oh, that something that must come of nothing ! those bricks 
that must be made without straw ! those pages that must 
be filled with words ! Yea. with words that must be sewed 
into sentences ! Yea, with sentences that must seem to mean 
something ; the whole to be tacked together, all neatly- 
fitted and dove-tailed, so as to form one smooth, polished 
surface ! \That were the labours of Hercules to such a 
task ! The very thought of it puts me into a mental per- 
spiration ; and, from my inmost soul, I compassionate the 
unfortunates now (at this very moment, perhaps,) screwed 
up perpendicular in the seat of torture, having in the right 
hand a fresh-nibbed patent pen, dipped ever and anon into 
the ink-bottle, as if to hook up ideas, and under the out- 
spread palm of the left hand a fair sheet of best Bath post, 
(ready to receive thoughts yet unhatched,) on which their 
eyes are rivetted with a stare of disconsolate perplexity, in 
finitelv touching to a feeling mind. 

29 * 



342 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 154. 

To such unhappy persons, in whose miseries I deeply 

sympathize Have I not groaned under similar hor- 

rours, from the hour when I was first shut up (undei i«.,ck 
and key, I believe,) to indite a dutiful epistle to an honoured 
aunt ? I remember, as if it were yesterday, the moment when 
she who had enjoined the task entered to inspect the per- 
formance, which, by her calculation, should have been fully 
completed— I remember how sheepishly I hung down my 
head, when she snatched from before me the paper, (on 
which I had made no further progress than " My dear ant") 
angrily exclaiming, " What, child ! have you been shut up 
here three hours to call your aunt a pismire V From that 
hour of humiliation I have too often groaned under the en- 
durance ci similar penance, and I have learnt from my own 
sufferings to compassionate those of my dear sisters in af- 
fliction. To such unhappy persons, then, I would fain of- 
fer a few hints, (the fruit of long experience,) which,- if they 
have not already been suggested by their own observation, 
may prove serviceable in the hour of emergency. 

Let them or suppose I address myself to one particu- 
lar sufferer — there is something more confidential in that 
manner of communicating one's ideas — As Moore says. 
" Heart speaks to heart" — I say, then, take always special 
care to write by candlelight, for not only is the apparently 
unimportant operation of snuffing the candle in itself a mo- 
mentary relief to the depressing consciousness of mental 
vacuum, but not unfrequently that trilling act. or the bright- 
ening flame of the taper, elicits, as it were, from the dull 
embers of fancy, a sympathetick spark of fortunate concep- 
tion — When such a one occurs, seize it quickly and dexter- 
ously, but, at the same time, with such cautious prudence, 
as not to huddle up and contract in one short, paJtry sen- 
tence, that which, if ingeniously handled, may be wire- 
drawn, so as to undulate graceful! v and smoothly over a 
whole page. 

For the more ready practice of this invaluable art of di- 
lating, it will be expedient to stock your memory with a 
large assortment of those precious words of many syllables, 
that fill whole lines at once ; " incomprehensibly, amazing- 
ly, decidedly, solicitously, inconceivably, incontrovertibly." 
An opportunity of using these, is, to a distressed spinner, 
as delightful as a copy all m's and n's to a child. " Com- 
mand you msy, your mind from play." They run on with 
such delicious smoothness ! 



Lesson 155.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 343 

I have known a judicious selection of such, cunningly ar- 
ranged, and neatly linked together, with a few monosylla- 
bles, interjections, and well chosen epithets, (which may be 
liberally inserted with good general effect,) so worked up, 
as to form altogether a very respectable and even elegant 
composition, such as amongst the best judges of that pecu- 
liar style is pronounced to be " a charming letter !" Then 
the pause — tiie break — has altogether a picturesque effect. 
Long tailed letters are not only beautiful in themselves, but 
the use of them necessarily creates such a space between 
the lines, as helps one honourably and expeditiously over 
the ground to be filled up. The tails of your g's and y's in 
particular, may be boldly flourished with a " down-sweep- 
ing" curve, so as beautifully to obscure the line underneath, 
without rendering it wholly illegible. This last, however, is 
but a minor grace, a mere illumination of the manuscript, 
on which I have touched rather by accident than design. I 
pass on to remarks of greater moment. 

* # * * • 



LESSON CLV. 

Ginevra. — Italy. — Rogers. 

I f ever you should come to Modena, 
(Where among other relicks you may see 
Tassoni's bucket — but 'tis not the true one) 
Stop at a palace near the Reggio-gate, 
Dwelt in of old by one of the Donati. 
Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace, 
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses, 
Will long detain you — but, before you go, 
Enter the house — forget it not, I pray you — 
And look awhile upon a picture there. 

'Tis of a lady in her earliest youth, 
The last of that illustrious family ; 
Done by Zampieri — but .by whom I care not. 
He, who observes it — ere he passes on, 
Gazes his fill, and comes and comes again, 
That he may call it up when far away. 



344 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 155 

She sits, inclining forward as to speak, 
Her lips half open, and her finger up, 
As though she said, " Beware !" her vest of gold 
Broidered with flowers and clasped from head to foot, 
An emerald stone in every golden clasp ; 
And on her brow, fairer than alabaster, 
A coronet of pearls. 

But then her face, 
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth, 
The overflowings of an innocent heart — 
It haunts me still, though many a year has fled, 
Like some wild melody ! 

Alone it hangs 
Over a mouldering heir-loom, its companion, 
An oaken chest, half-eaten by the worm, 
But richly carved by Antony of Trent 
With scripture-stories from the life of Christ ; 
A chest that came from Venice, and had held 
The ducal robes of some old ancestor — 
That by the way — it may be true or false — 
But don't forget the picture ; and you will not, 
When you have heard the tale they told me there. 

She was an only child — her name Ginevra, 
The joy, the pride of an indulgent father ; 
And in her fifteenth year became a bride, 
Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria, 
Her playmate from her birth, and her first love. 

Just as she looks there in her bridal dress, 
She was all gentleness, all gayety, 
Her pranks the favourite theme of every tongue. 
But now the day was come, the day, the hour ; 
Now, frowning, smiling for the hundredth time, 
The nurse, that ancient lady, preached decorum ; 
And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave 
Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco. 

Great was the joy ; but at the nuptial feast, 
When all sate down, the bride herself was wanting. 
Nor was she to be found ! Her father cried, 
" 5 Tis but to make a trial of our love !" 
And filled his glass to all ; but his hand shook, 
And soon from guest to guest the panick spread. 



rn 



Lesson 15C] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 345 

'Twas but that instant she had left Franceses 
Laughing and looking back and flying still, 
Her ivory tooth imprinted on his linger. 
But now, alas, she was not to be found ; 
Nor from that hour could any tiling be guessed, 
But that she was not ! 

Weary of his life, 
Francesco flew to Venice, and embarking, 
Flung it away in battle with the Turk. 
Donati lived — and long might you have seen 
An old man wandering as in quest of something. 
Something he could not find — he knew not what. 
When he was gone, the house remained awhile 
Silent and tenantless — then went to strangers. 

Full fifty years were past, and all forgotten, 
When on an idle day, a day of search 
Mid the old lumber in the gallery, 
That mouldering chest was noticed ; and 'twas said 
By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra, 
" Why not remove it from its lurking-place 7" 
'Twas done as soon as said ; but on the way 
It burst, it fell ; and lo ! a skeleton 
With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone, 
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold. 
All else had perished — save a wedding ring, 
And a small seal, her mother's legacy, 
Engraven with a name, the name of both — 
" Ginevra." 

; — There then had she found a grave ! 
Within that chest had she concealed herself, 
Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy ; 
When a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there, 
Fastened her down for ever ! 



LESSON CLVI. 

AccGunt of the destruction of Goldau and other villages i 
Switzerland ; — extracted from a letter , dated Geneva, 2(yth 
Sep*. 1806. — Buckminster. 

There is an event which happened just before our arm 
in Switzerland, of which no particular account may have 
yet reached America, and which I think cannot be uninter- 
esting, especially to those of our friends who have visited 



346 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 150. 

this charming country. Indeed it is too disastrous to he 
related or read with indifference. 

If you have a large map of Switzerland, I beg of you to 
look for a spot in the canton of Schweitz,* situated between 
the lakes of Zug and Lowertz on two sides, and the moun- 
tains of Rigi and Rossberg on the others. Here, but three 
weeks ago, was one of the most delightfully fertile valleys 
of all Switzerland ; green, and luxuriant, adorned with sev- 
eral little villages, full of secure and happy farmers. Now 
three of these villages are for ever effaced from the earth ; 
and a broad waste of ruins, burying alive more than fourteen 
hundred peasants, overspreads the valley of Lowertz. 

About five o'clock in the evening of the 3d of September, 
a large projection of the mountain of Rossberg, on the north 
east, gave way, and precipitated itself into this valley ; and 
in less than four minutes completely overwhelmed the three 
villages of Goldau, Busingen, and Rathlen, with a part of 
Lowertz and Oberart. The torrent of earth and stones was 
far more rapid than that of lava, and its effects as resistless 
and as terrible. The mountain in its descent carried trees, 
rocks, houses, every thing before it. The mass spread in 
every direction, so as to bury completely a space of charm- 
ing country, more than three miles square* 

The force of ihe earth must have been prodigious, since 
it not only spread over the hollow of the valley, but even 
ascended far up the opposite side of the Rigi. The quantity 
of earth, too, is enormous, since it has left a considerable hill 
in what was before the centre of the vale. A portion of the 
falling mass rolled into the lake of Lowertz, and it is calcu- 
lated that a fifth part is filled up. On a minute map you 
will see two little islands marked in this lake, which have 
been admired for their picturesqueness. One of them is fa- 
mous for the residence of two hermits, and the other for 
the remains of an ancient chateau,t once belonging to the 
house of Hapsburg. 

So large a body of water was raised and pushed forward 
by the falling of such a mass into the lake, that the two 
islands, and the whole village of Seven, at the southern ex- 
tremity, were for a time, completely submerged by the pass- 
ing of the swell. A large house in this village was lifted 
off its foundations and carried half a mile beyond its place. 
The hermits were absent on a pilgrimage to a distant abbey. 

The disastrous consequences of this event extend further 
* Pronounced Shvntes, t Pronounced shat-to. 



Lesson 156.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 347 

than the loss of such a number of inhabitants in a canton of 
little population. A fertile plain is at ongp converted into a 
barren tract of rocks and calcareous earth, and the former 
marks and boundaries of property obliterated. The main 
road from Art to Schweitz is completely filled up, so that 
another must be opened with great labour over the Rigi. 
The former channel of a large stream is choked up, and its 
course altered ; and, as the outlets and passage of large 
bodies of water must be affected by the filling up of such a 
portion of the lake, the neighbouring villages are still trem- 
bling with apprehension of some remote consequence, against 
which they know not how to provide. Several hundred 
men have been employed in opening passages for the stag- 
nant waters, in forming a new road for foot passengers along 
the Rigi, and in exploring the ruins. The different cantons 
have contributed to the relief of the suffering canton of 
Schweitz, and every head is at work to contrive means to 
prevent further disasters. 

The number of inhabitants buried alive under the ruins 
of this mountain is scarcely less than fifteen hundred. Some 
even estimate it as high as two thousand. Of these, a wo- 
man and two children have been found alive, after having 
been several days under ground. They affirm that while 
they were thus entombed, they heard the cries of creatures 
who were perishing around them, for want of that succoiu 
which they were so happy as to receive. Indeed, it is the 
opinion of many well informed people, that a large number 
might still be recovered ; and a writer in the Publiciste goes 
so far as to blame the inactivity of the neighbouring inhabi- 
tants ; and quotes many well-attested facts to prove, that 
persons have lived a long time, buried under snow and earth. 

This at least is probable in the present case, that many 
houses, exposed to a lighter weight than others, may have 
been merely a little crushed, while the lower story, which, 
in this part of Switzerland, is frequently of stone, may have 
remained firm, and thus not a few of the inhabitants escaped 
unhurt. The consternation, into which the neighbouring 
towns of Art and Schweitz were thrown, appears indeed to 
have left them incapable of contriving and executing those 
labours, which an enlightened compassion would dictate. 

The mountain of Rossberg, as well as the Rigi, and other 
mountains in its vicinity, is composed of a kind of brittle 
calcareous earth, and pudding stone or aggregated rocks. 
Such a prodigious mass as that which fell, would easily 



348 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 156. 

crumble by its own weight, and spread over a wide surface, 
The bed of the mountain, from which the desolation came, 
is a plane inclined from north to south. Its appearance, as 
it is now laid bare, would lead one to suppose ; : im* the mass> 
when it first tnoved from its base, slid for some -distance be- 
fore it precipitated itself into the valle} 7 . The height of the 
Spitzberg — the name of the projection which fell — above 
the lake and valley of Lowertz, was little less than two 
thousand feet. 

The composition of the chain of the Rigi, of which the 
Rossberg makes a part, has always been an obstacle in the 
way of those system-makers, who have built their hypoth- 
esis upon the structure of the Alps. It has nothing gra- 
nitick in its whole mass, and though nearly six thousand 
feet above the sea, is green and even fertile to its summit. 
It is composed of nothing but earth and stone, combined in 
rude masses. It is also remarkable that the strata of which 
it is composed, are distinctly inclined from the north toward 
the south, a character which is common to all rocks of this 
kind through the whole range of Alps, as well as to the 
greater part of calcareous, schistous, and pyritick rocks, and 
also to the whole chain of the Jura. 

It was about a week after the fall of the mountain, that 
our route through Switzerland led us to visit this scene of 
desolation ; and never can I forget the succession of melan- 
choly views, which presented themselves to our curiosity. 
In our way to it, we landed at Art, a town, situated at the 
southern extremity of the lake of Zug ; and we skirted along 
the western boundary of the ruins, by the side of Mount 
Rigi, towards the lake of Lowertz. From various points 
on our passage, we had complete views of such a scene of 
destruction, as no words can adequately describe. 

Picture to yourself a rude and mingled mass of earth and 
stones, bristled with the shattered parts of wooden cottages, 
and with thousands of heavy trees, torn up by the roots, 
and projecting in every direction. In one part you might 
see a range of peasants' huts, which the torrent of earth 
had reached with just force enough to overthrow and tear 
in pieces, but without bringing: soil enough to cover them. 
In another were mills broken in pieces by huge rocks, trans- 
ported from the top of the mountains, which fell, and were 
carried high up the opposite side of the Rigi. Large pools 
of water had formed themselves in different parts of the 
ruins, and many little streams, whose usual channels had 



lesson 150.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 349 

been filled up, were bursting out in various places. Birds 
of prey, attracted by the smell of dead bodies, were hover- 
ing all about the valley. 

But the general impression made upon us by the sight of 
sich an extent of desolation, connected, too, with the idea 
thai hundreds of wretched creatures were at that moment 
alive, buried under a mass of earth, and inaccessible to the 
cries and labours of their friends, was too horrible to be de- 
scribed or understood. As we travelled along the borders 
of the chaos of ruined buildings, a poor peasant, wearing a 
countenance ghastly with wo, came up to us to beg a piece 
of money. He had three children buried in the ruins of a 
cottage* which he was endeavouring to clear away. 

A little further on, we came to an elevated spot, which 
overlooked the whole scene. Here we found a painter 
seated on a rock, and busy in sketching its horrours. He 
had chosen a most favourable point. Before him, at the 
distance of more than a league, rose the Rossberg, from 
whose bare side had rushed the destroyer of all this life and 
beautv. On his right was the lake of Lowertz, partly filled 
with the earth of the mountain. On the banks of this lake 
was all that remained of the town of Lowertz. Its church 
was demolished ; but the tower yet stood amid the ruins, 
shattered, but not thrown down. 

The figures, which animated this part of the drawing, 
were a few miserable peasants, left to grope among the 
wrecks of one half their village. The foreground of the 
picture w r as a wide desolate sweep of earth and stones, re- 
lieved bv the shattered roof of a neio-hbourinrr cottage. On 
the left hand spread the blue and tranquil surface of the 
lake of Zug, on the margin of which yet stands the pleasant 
village of Art, almost in contact with the ruins, and trem- 
bling 1 even in its preservation. 

We proceeded, in our descent, along the side of the Rigi, 
toward the half-buried village of Lowertz. Here we saw 
the poor curate, who is said to have been a spectator of the 
fall of the mountain. He saw the torrent of earth rushing 
toward his village, overwhelming half his people, and stop- 
ping just before his door ! What a situation ! He appeared, 
as we passed, to be superintending the labours of some of 
the survivors, who were exploring the ruins of the place. 
A number of new-made graves, marked with a plain pine 
cross, showed where a few of the wretched victims of this 
catastrophe had just been interred. 

30 



350 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 156. 

Our course lay along the borders of the enchanting lake 
of Lowertz. The appearance of the slopes, on the eastern 
and southern sides, told us what the valley of Goldau was a 
few days since, smiling with varied vegetation, gay with vil- 
lages and cottages, and bright with promises of autumnal 
plenty. The shores of this lake were covered with ruins of 
huts, with hay, with furniture and clothes, which the vast 
swell of its waters had lodged on the banks. As we were 
walking mournfully along towards Schweitz, we met with 
the dead body of a woman, which had been just found. It 
was stretched out on a board, and barely covered with a 
white cloth. Two men, preceded by a priest, were carry 
ing it to a more decent burial. 

We hoped that this sight would have concluded the hor- 
rours of this day's scenery, and that we should soon escape 
from every painful vestige of the calamity of Schweitz. But 
we continued to find relicks of ruined buildings for a league 
along the whole extent of the lake ; and a little beyond the 
two islands, mentioned above, we saw, lying on the shore, 
the stiff body of a peasant, which had been washed up by the 
waves, and which two men were examining, to ascertain 
where he belonged. Our guide instantly knew it to be one 
of the inhabitants of Goldau. But I will mention no more 
particulars. Some perhaps that have been related to me are 
not credible, and others which are credible are too painful. 

The immediate cause of this calamitous event is not yet 
sufficiently ascertained and probably never will be. The 
fall of parts of hills is not uncommon ; and in Switzerland 
especially there are several instances recorded of the de- 
scent of large masses of earth and stones. But so sudden 
and extensive a ruin, as this, was, perhaps, never produced 
by the fall of a mountain. It can be compared only to the 
destruction made by the tremendous eruptions of Etna and 
Vesuvius. 

Many persons suppose that the long and copious rains, 
which they have lately had in this part of Switzerland, may 
have swelled the mountains, in the Rossberg, sufficiently to 
push this part of the mountain off its inclined base. But we 
saw no marks of streams issuing from any part of the bed 
which is laid bare. Perhaps the consistency of the earth 
in the inter : >our of the mountain was so much altered bv the 
moisture which penetrated into it, that the projection of the 
Spitzberg was no longer held by a sufficiently strong cohe- 
sion, and its own weight carried it over. Perhaps, as the 






LcosoTi 157.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 3a 

earth is calcareous, a kind of fermentation took place suffi- 
cient to loosen its foundations. But there is no end to c< n- 
jectures. The mountain has fallen, and the villages are no* 

more. 



LESSON CLVII. 

Lament of a Swiss Minstrel over the Ruins of Goldau* — Neal. 

Switzerland ! my country ! 'tis to thee 

1 strike my harp in agony : — 
My country ! nurse of Liberty, 
Home of the gallant, great, and free, 
My sullen harp I strike to thee. 

O ! I have lost you all ! 
Parents, and home, and friends : 

Ye sleep beneath a mountain pall ; 
A mountain's plumage o'er you bends. 

The cliff-yew of funereal gloom 

Is now the only mourning plume 

That nods above a people's tomb. 
Of the echoes that swim o'er thy bright blue lake, 
And, deep in its caverns, their merry bells shake ; 

And repeat the young huntsman's cry ; — 
That clatter and laugh when the goatherds take 
Their browzing flocks, at the morning's break, 
Far over the hills, — not one is awake 

In the swell of thy peaceable sky. 
They sit on that wave with a motionless wing, 
And their cymbals are mute ; and the desert birds sing 
Their unanswered notes to the w T ave and the sky, 
As they stoop their broad wing and go sluggishly by : 
For deep, in that blue-bosomed water, is laid 
As innocent, true, and as lovely a maid 
As ever in cheerfulness carolled her song, 
In the blithe mountain air, as she bounded along. 
The heavens are all blue, and the billow's bright verge 
Is frothily laved by a whispering surge, 
That heaves, incessant, a tranquil dirge, 
To lull the pale forms that sleep below : — 
Forms that rock as the waters flow. 



352 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 157. 

That bright lake is still as a liquid sky : 
And when o'er its bosom the swift clouds fly, 
They pass like thoughts o'er a clear, blue eye. 
The fringe of thin foam that their sepulchre binds 
Is as light as the clouds that are borne by the winds. 
Soft over its bosom the dim vapours hover 
Tn morning's first light : and the snowy winged plover, 
That skims o'er the deep 
Where my loved ones sleep, 
No note of joy on this solitude flings ; 

Nor shakes the mist from his drooping wings. 

* # # # ' 

No chariots of fire on the clouds careered ; 
No warriour's arm on the hills was reared ; 
No death-angel's trump o'er the ocean was blown ; 
No mantle of wrath over heaven was thrown ; 
No armies of light with their banners of flame, 
On neighing steeds, through the sunset came, 

Or leaping from space appeared : 
No earthquake reeled : no Thunderer stormed : 
No fetterless dead o'er the bright sky swarmed : 

No voices in heaven were heard. 
But, the hour when the sun in his pride went down, 

While his parting hung rich o'er the world, 
While abroad o'er the sky his flush mantle was biowa, 
And his streamers of gold were unfurled ; 
An everlasting hill was torn 
From its primeval base, and borne, 
[n gold and crimson vapours drest, 
To where a people are at rest. 
Slowly it came in its mountain wrath ; 
And the forests vanished before its path ; 
And the rude cliffs Lowed ; and the waters fled ; 
And the living were buried, while over their head 
They heard the full march of their foe as he sped ; — 
And the valley of life was the tomb of the dead. 
The mountain sepulchre of all I loved ! 
The village sank, and the giant trees 
Leaned back from the encountering breeze, 
As this tremendous pageant moved. 
The mountain forsook his perpetual throne, 
And came down in his pomp : and his path is shown 
In barrenness and ruin : — there 
His ancient mysteries lay bare ; 



Lesson 158.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 353 

His rocks ik nakedness arise ; 
His desolations mock the skies. 

Sweet vale, Goldau, farewell ! 
An Alpine monument may dwell 
Upon thy bosom, O my home ! 
Tiie mountain — thy pall and thy prison — may keep thee ; 
I shall see thee no more ; but till death I will weep thee ; 
Of thy blue dwelling dream wherever I roam, 
And wish myself vrapped in its peaceful foam. 



LESSON CLVIII. 

Lycidas. — Milton. 

[In this monody, the author bewails a learned friend, who, on his pas 
sage from Chester to Ireland, was drowned in the Irish seas, 1637.] 

Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more 
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere, 
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude : 
And, with forced fingers rude, 
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. 
Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear, 
Compels me to disturb your season due : 
For Lycidas is dead, — dead ere his prime 5 — 
Young Lycidas, — and hath not left his peer : 
Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew 
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme. 
He must not float upon his watery bier 
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind, « 

Without the meed of some melodious tear. 

Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well, 
That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring ; 
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string: 
Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse : 
So may some gentle Muse 
With lucky words favour my destined urn ; 
And, as he passes, turn, 
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud. 

For we were nursed upon the self-same hill, 
Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill. 
Together both, ere the high lawns appeared 

30* 



354 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 158. 

Under the opening eye-lids of the Morn, 

We drove afield, and both together heard 

What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, 

Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night, 

Oft till the star, that rose, at evening bright, 

Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheeL 

Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute, 

Tempered to the oaten flute ; 

Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel 

From the glad sound would not be absent long ; 

And old Damcetas loved to hear our song. 

But, O the heavy change ! now thou art gone j 
Now thou art gone, and never must return ! 
Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves 
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, 
And all their echoes mourn : 
The willows, and the hazel copses gieen, 
Shall now no more be seen 
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. 
As killing as the canker to the rose, 
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze, 
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear, 
When first the white-thorn blows ; 
SuchjLycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear. 

Where were ye. Nymphs, when the remorseless deep 
Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas ? 
For neither were ye playing on the steep, 
Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, 
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, 
Nor yet where I)eva spreads her wizard stream : 
Ay me ! I fondly dream ! 

Had ye b^pn there — for what could that have done? 
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore, 
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son, 
Whom universal nature did lament, 
When, by the rout that made the hideous roar, 
His gory visage down the stream was sent, 
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ? 

Alas ! what boots it with incessant care * 
To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade, 
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ? 
Were it not better done, as others use, 
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, 
Or with the tangles of Neeera's hair 1 



153.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. $£ 

Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise 

(That last infirmity of noble mind,) 

To scorn delights and live laborious days ; 

But the fair guerdon .when we hope to find, 

And think to burst out into sudden blaze, 

Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears, 

And slits the thin-spun life. " But not the praise, 

Phoebus replied, and touched my trembling ears ; 

" Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, 

Nor in the glistering foil, 

Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies : 

But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, 

And perfect witness of all-judging Jove ; 

As he pronounces lastly on each deed, 

Of so much fame in Heaven expect thy meed." 

O fountain Arethuse, and thou honoured flood, 
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with vocal reeds S 
That strain I heard was of a higher mood : 

But now my oat proceeds, 

And listens to the herald of the sea 

That came in Neptune's plea ; 

He asked the waves, and asked the felon winds, 

'• What hard mishap hath doomed this gentle swain V f 

And Questioned everv gust of rugged wings 

That blows from off each beaked promontory : 

They knew not of his story ; 

And sage Ilippotades their answer brings, 

That not a blast was from his dungeon strayed ; 

The air was calm, and on the level brine 

Sleek Panope with all her sisters played. 

It was that fatal and perfidious bark, 

Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark^ 

That sunk so low that sacred head of thine. 

# * * * * * 

Return, Alpheus. the dread voice is past, 
Tha,t shrunk thy streams ; return, Sicilian Muse, 
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast 
Their bells, and flowerets of a thousand hues. 
Ye valleys low where the wild whispers use 
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks 
On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks ; 
Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes, 
That on the green turf suck the honied showers, 
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers. 



356 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 159. 

Bring the rath primrose that forsaken dies, 

The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, 

The white pink, and the panzy freaked with jet, 

The glowing violet, 

The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine, 

With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head, 

And every flower that sad embroidery wears : 

Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed, 

And dafFadillies fill their cups with tears, 

To strew the laureat hearse where Lycid lies. 

For, so to interpose a little ease, 

Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise ; 

Ay me ! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas 

Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled, 

Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides, 

Where thou, perhaps? under the whelming tide, 

Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world ; 

Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied, 

Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old, 

Where the great vision of the guarded mount 

Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold ; 

Look homeward, angel, now, and melt with ruth : 

A;: I, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth. 

Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more 
For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead, 
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor ; 
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed, 
And yet anon repairs his drooping head, 
And tricks his beams, and, with new-spangled ore, 
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky : 
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high, 
Through the dear might of him that walked the waves 
Where other groves and other streams along, 
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves, 
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song, 
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love. 
There entertain him all the saints above, 
In solemn troops, and sweet societies, 
That sing, and singing, in their glory move, 
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes. 
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more ; 
Henceforth thou art the genius of the shore, 
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good 
To all that wander in that perilous flood. 



Lesson 159.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 357 

Thus sans: the uncouth swain to the oaks and "' ll ° 
While the still Morn went out with sandals gra} 
lie touched the tender stops of various quills, 
With eager thought warbling his Dorick lay. 
And now the sun had stretched out all the hills* 
And now was dropped into the western bay ; 
At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue ; 
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new. 



LESSON CLIX. 

A Thunder-storm, among the Highlands of Scotland. — Wilsons 

An enormous thunder-cloud had lain all day over Ben- 
Nevis, shrouding its summit m thick darkness, blackening 
its sides and base, wherever they were beheld from the 
surrounding country, with masses of deep shadow, and es- 
pecially flinging down a weight of gloom upon that magnifi- 
cent glen that bears the same name with the mountain, 
till now the afternoon was like twilight, and the voice of all 
the streams was distinct in the breathlessness of the vast 
solitary hollow. The inhabitants of ail the straths, vales, 
glens, and dells, round and about the monarch of Scottish 
mountains, had, during each successive hour, been expecting 
the roar of thunder and the deluge of rain ; but the huge 
conglomeration of lowering clouds w x ould not rend asunder, 
although it was certain that a calm, blue sky could not be 
restored till all that dreadful assemblage had melted away 
into torrents, or been driven off by a strong wind from the sea, 

All the cattle on the hills, and in the hollows, stood still 
or lay down in their fear — the wild deer sought in herds the 
shelter of the pine-eovered cliffs — the raven hushed his 
hoarse croak in some grim cavern, and the eagle left the 
dreadful silence of the upper heavens. Now and then the 
shepherds looked from their huts, while the shadow of the 
thunder-clouds deepened the hues of their plaids and tartans ; 
and at every creaking of the heavy branches of the pines, 
or wide-armed oaks in the solitude of their inaccessible 
birth-place, the hearts of the lonely dwellers quaked, and 
they lifted up their eyes to see the first wide flash-— the dis- 
parting of the masses of darkness — and paused to hear the 
long, loud rattle of heaven's artillery, shaking the founda- 
tions of the everlasting mountains. But all was yet silent. 



358 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 1G0 

The peal came at last, and it seemed as if an earthquake 
had smote the silence. Not a tree — not a blade of grass 
moved, but the blow stunned, as it were, the heart of the 
solid globe. Then was there a low, wild, whispering, wail- 
ing voice, as of many spirits all joining together from every 
point of heaven — it died away — and then the rushing of rain 
was heard through the darkness ; and, in a few minutes, 
down came all the mountain torrents in their power, and 
the sides of all the steeps were suddenly sheeted, far and 
wide, with waterfalls. The element of water was let loose 
to run its rejoicing race — and that of fire lent it illumination, 
whether sweeping in floods along the great open straths, or 
tumbling in cataracts from cliffs overhanging the eagle's 
eyrie.* 

Great rivers were suddenly flooded — and the little moun 
tain rivulets, a few minutes before only silver threads, ana 
in whose fairy basins the minnow played, were now scarce- 
ly fordable to shepherd's feet. It was time for the strongest 
to take shelter, and none now would have liked to issue from 
it ; for while there was real danger to life and limb in the 
many raging torrents, and in the lightning's flash, the imagi- 
nation and the soul themselves were touched with awe in 
the long resounding glens, and beneath the savage seowl of 
the angry sky. It was such a storm as becomes an era 
among the mountains ; and it was felt that before next 
morning there would be a loss of lives — not only among the 
beasts that perish, but among human beings overtaken by 
the wrath of that irresistible tempest. 



LESSON CLX. 

Death of old Leivis Cameron. — Wilson. 

The musick ceased, and Hamish Fraser, on coming back 
into the Shealing,f said, " I see two men on horseback 
coming up the glen — one is on a white horse." " Ay — blessed 
be God, that is the good priest — now will I die in peace. 
My last earthly thoughts are gone by — he will show me the 
salvation of Christ — the road that leadeth to eternal life. 
My dear son — good Mr. Gordon — I felt happy in your prayers 
and exhortations. But the minister of my own holy religion 

* Ey, in the first syllable of this word, has the same sound as in thty 
t Shealiig — a shed, ox hut. 



Lesson 160.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 059 

is at hand — and it is pleasant to die in the faith of one's 
forefathers. When he comes — you will leave us by our- 
selves — even my little Flora will go with you into the air 
for a little. The rain — is it not over and gone ? And I 
hear no wind — onlv the voice of streams." 

The sound of horses' feet was now on the turf before the 
door of the Shealing — and Mr. Macdonald came in with a 
friend The dying man looked towards his priest with a 
happy countenance, and blessed him in the name of God — 
of Christ — and of bis blessed mother. He then uttered a 
few indistinct words addressed to the person who accompa- 
nied him — and there was silence in the Shealing. 

" I was from home when the messenger came to my 
house — but he found me at the house of Mr. Christie the 
clergyman of the English church at Fort- William, and he 
would not suffer me to come up the glen alone — so you now 
see him along with me, Lewis." The dying man said 
" This indeed is Christian charity. Here, in a lonely Sheal- 
ing, by the death-bed of a poor old man, are standing three 
ministers of God — each of a different persuasion — a Catho- 
lick — an Episcopal — and a Presbyter. All of you have 
been kind to me for several years — and now you are all 
anxious for the salvation of my soul. God has indeed been 
merciful to me a sinner." 

The Catholick Priest was himself an old man — although 
thirty years younger than poor Lewis Cameron — and he 
was the faithful shepherd of a small flock. He was revered 
by all who knew him, for the apostolical fervour of his faith, 
the simplicity of his manners, and the blamelessness of his 
life. An humble man among the humble, and poor in spirit 
in the huts of the poor. But he had one character in the 
Highland glens, where he was known only as the teacher 
and comforter of the souls of his little flock — and another in 
the wide world, where his name was not undistinguished 
among those of men gifted with talent and rich in erudition. 
He had passed his youth in foreign countries — but had re- 
turned to the neighbourhood of his birth-place as his life 
was drawing towards a close, and for several years had re- 
sided in that wild region, esteeming his lot, although hum- 
ble, yet high, if through him a few sinners were made repent- 
ant, and resignation brought by his voice to the dying bed. 

With this good man had come to the lonely Shealing Mr. 
Christie, the Episcopalian Clergyman, who had received his 
education in an English University, and brought to the dis- 



/ 



mo THE AMERICAN [Lesson 160, 

charge of his duties in this wild region, a mind cultivat- 
ed by classical learning, and rich in the literature and phi 
fosophy of Greece and Rome. Towards him, a very young 
person, the heart of the old Priest had warmed on their very 
first meeting ; and they really loved each other quite like 
father and son. 

The character of Mr. Gordon, although unlike theirs in 
almost all respects, was yet not uncongenial. His strong 
native sense, his generous feelings, his ardent zeal, were all 
estimated by them as they deserved ; and while he willingly 
bowed to their superiour talents and acquirements, he main- 
tained an equality with them both, in that devotion to his 
sacred dutios, and Christian care of the souls of his flock, 
without which a minister can neither be respectable nor 
happy. In knowledge of the character, customs, modes of 
thinking and feeling, and the manners of the people, he 
was greatly superiour to both his friends ; and his advice, 
although always given with diffidence, and never but when 
asked, was most useful to them in the spiritual guidance of 
their own flocks. 

This friendly and truly Christian intercourse having 
subsisted for several years between these three ministers 
of religion, the blessed effects of it were visible, ana were 
deeply and widely felt in the hearts of the inhabitants of 
this district. All causes of jealousy, dislike, and disunion, 
seemed to vanish into air, between people of these different 
persuasions, when they saw the true regard which they 
whom they most honoured and revered thus cherished for 
one another : and when the ordinary unthinking prejudices 
were laid aside, from which springs so much imbitterment 
of the very blood, an appeal was then made, and seldom in 
vain, to deeper feelings in the heart, and nobler principles 
in the understanding, which otherwise would have remained 
inoperative. 

Thus the dwellers in the glens and on the mountains, 
without ceasing to love and delight in their own mode of 
worship, and without losing a single hallowed association 
that clung to the person of the Minister of God, to the walls 
of the house in which he was worshipped, to the words in 
which the creature humbly addressed the Creator, or to the 
ground in which they were all finally to be laid at rest, yet 
all lived and died in mutual toleration and peace. Nor could 
there be a more affecting example of this than what was. 
now seen even in the low and lonely Shearing of poor old 



Lc^onliM).] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 361 

Lewis Cameron. His breath had but a few gasps more to 
make — but bis Shealing was blessed by tlic presence of 
those men whose religion, different as it was in many out- 
ward things, and often made to be*o fatally different in es 
sentials too, was now one and the same, as -they stood beside 
that death-bed, with a thousand torrents sounding through 
the evening air, and overshadowed in their devotion bv the 
gloom of that stupendous mountain. 

All but the gray-haired Priest now -left the Shealing, and 
sat down together in a beautiful circlet of green, enclosed 
with small rocks most richlv ornamented by nature, even in 
this stormy clime, with many a graceful plant and blooming 
flower, to which the art of old Lewis and his Flora had 
added blossoms from the calmer gardens of the Fort. These 
and the heather nerfumed the air — for the rain, though 
dense and strong, had not shattered a single spray, and every 
leaf and every bloom lifted itself cheerfully- up begemmed 
with large quivering diamond drops. There sat the silent 
party — while death was dealing with old Lewis, and the 
man of God giving comfort to his penitent spirit. They 
were waiting the event in peace — and even little Flora, 
elevated by the presence of. these holy men, whose office 
seemed now so especially sacred, and cheered by their 
fatherly kindness to herself, sat in the middle of the group, 
and scarcely shed a tear. 

In a little while, Mr. Macdonald came out from the Sheal- 
ing, and beckoned on one of them to approach. They did 
so, one after the other, and thus singly took their last fare- 
well of the ancient man. His agonies and strong convul- 
sions were all over— he was now blind— but he seemed to 
hear their voices still, and to be quite sensible. Little Flora 
was the last to go in — and she staid the longest. She came 
out sobbing, as if her heart would break, for she had kissed 
his cold lips, from which there was no breath, and his eye- 
lids that fell not down over the dim orbs. 

l t He is dead — he is dead !" said the child : and she went and 
sat dowm, with her face hidden bv her hands, on a stone at 
some distance from the rest, a little birch tree hanging its lim- 
ber sprays over her head, and as the breeze touched them, 
letting down its clear dew-drops on her yellow hair. As she 
sat there, a few goats, for it was now the hour of evening 
when they came to be milked from the high cliffy pastures 3 
gathered round her : and her pet lamb, which had been 
frisking unheecjel among the heather, after the hush of the 

3 



362 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 161. 

storm, went bleating up to the sobbing shepherdess, and 
laid its head on her knees. 

The evening had sunk down upon the glen, but the tem- 
pest was over, and tUbugh the torrents had not yet begun 
to subside, there was now a strong party, and no danger in 
their all journeying homewards together. One large star 
arose in heaven — and a wide white glimmer over a breaking 
mass of clouds told that the moon was struggling through, 
and in another hour, if the upper current of air flowed on, 
would be apparent. No persuasion could induce little Flora 
to leave the Shearing — and Hamish Frazer was left to sit 
with her all night beside the bed. So the company departed 
— and as they descended into the great glen, they heard the 
wild wail of the pipe, mixing with the sound of the streams 
and the moaning of cliffs and caverns. It was Hamish 
Frazer pouring out a lament on the green before the Sheal- 
ing — a mournful but martial tune, which the old soldier 
had loved, and which, if there were any superstitious 
thoughts in the soul of him who was playing, might be sup- 
posed to sooth the spirit yet lingering in the dark hollow of 
his native mountains. 



LESSON CLXI. 

Religion and Superstition contrasted. — -Mrs. Carter. 

I had lately a very remarkable dream, which made so 
strong an impression on me, that I remember every word 
of it ; and if you are not better employed, you may read 
the relation of it as follows. 

I thought I was in the midst of a very entertaining set of 
company, and extremely delighted in attending to a lively 
conversation, when, on a sudden, I perceived one of the 
most shocking figures that imagination can frame, advancing 
towards me. She was dressed in black, her skin was con- 
tracted into a thousand wrinkles, her eyes deep sunk in her 
head, and her complexion pale and livid as the countenance 
of death. Her looks were filled with terrour and unre- 
lenting severity, and her hands armed with whips and scor- 
pions. As soon as she came near, with a horrid frown, and 
a voice that chilled my very blood, she bade me follow her. 
I obeyed, and she led me through rugged paths, beset with 
briers and thorns, into a deep solitary valley. Wherever 






Lesson 161.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 363 

she passed, the fading verdure withered beneath her steps ; 
her pestilential breath infected the air with malignant va- 
pours, obscured the lustre of the sun, and involved the fair 
face of heaven in universal gloom. Dismal bowlings re- 
sounded through the forest; from every baleful tree, the 
night-raven uttered his dreadful note ; and the prospect was 
filled with desolation and horrour. In the midst of this tre- 
mendous scene, my execrable guide addressed me in the 
following manner. 

44 Retire with me, O rash, unthinking mortal ! from the 
vain allurements of a deceitful world ; and learn, that pleas- 
ure was not designed as the portion of human life. Man was 
born to mourn and to be wretched. This is the condition 
of ail below the stars ; and whoever endeavours to oppose 
it, acts in contradiction to the will of heaven. Fly then 
from the fatal enchantments of youth and social delight, and 
here consecrate the solitary hours to lamentation and wo. 
Misery is the duty of all sublunary beings ; and every en- 
joyment is an offence to the Deity, who is to be worshipped 
only bj the mortification of every sense of pleasure, and 
the everlasting exercise of sighs and tears." 

This me-ancholy picture of life quite sunk my spirits, 
and seemed to annihilate c\ery principle of joy within me* 
I threw myself beneath a blasted yew, where the winds 
blew cold and dismal round my head, and dreadful appre- 
hensions chilled my heart. Here I resolved to lie till the 
hand of death, which I impatiently invoked, should put an 
end to the miseries of a life so deplorably wretched. In 
this sad situation I espied on one hand of me a deep muddy 
river, whose heavy waves rolled on in slow, sullen mur- 
murs. Here I determined to plunge ; and was just upon 
the brink, when I found myself suddenly drawn back. I 
turned about, and was surprised by the sight of the love- 
liest object I had ever beheld. The most engaging charms 
of youth and beauty appeared in all her form ; effulgent 
glories sparkled in her eyes, and their awful splendours 
were softened by the gentlest looks of compassion and 
peace. At her approach, the frightful spectre, who had 
before tormented me, vanished away, and with her all the 
horrours she had caused. The gloomy clouds brightened 
into cheerful sunshine, the groves recovered their verdure, 
and the whole region looked gay and blooming as the gar- 
den of Eden. I was quite transported at this unexpected 
change, and reviving pleasure began to gladden my thoughts t 



364 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 1G1 

when, with a look of inexpressible sweetness, my beauteous 
deliverer thus uttered her divine instructions. 

"My name is Religion. T am the offspring of Truth and 
Love, and the parent of Benevolence, Hope, and Joy. That 
monster, from whose power I have freed you, is called Su- 
perstition : she is the child of Discontent, and her follow- 
ers are Fear and Sorrow. Thus, different, as we are, she 
has often the insolence to assume my name and character : 
and seduces unhappy mortals to think us the same, till she. 
at length, drives them to the borders of Despair, that dread- 
ful abyss into which you were just going to sink. 

"Look round, and survey the various beauties of the 
globe, which heaven has destined for the seat of the human 
race: and consider whether a world thus exquisitely framed, 
could be meant for the abode of misery and pain. For what 
end has the lavish hand of Providence diffused innumerable 
objects of delight, but that all might rejoice in the privi- 
lege of existence j and be filled with gratitude to the benefi- 
cent Author of it 1 Thus to enjoy the blessings he has sent, 
is virtue and obedience ; and to reject them merely as^means 
of pleasure, is pitiable ignorance, or absurd perverseness. 
Infinite goodness is the source of created existence. The 
proper tendency of every rational being, from the highest 
order of raptured seraphs, to the meanest rank of men, is, 
to rise incessantly from lower degrees of happiness to high- 
er. They have faculties assigned them for various orders 
of delights." 

"What!" cried I, "is this the language of Religion? 
Does she lead her votaries through flowery paths, and bid 
them pass an unlaborious life ? Where are the painful toils 
of virtue, the mortifications of penitenrs, and the self-deny- 
ing exercises of saints and heroes V 

" The true enjoyments of a reasonable being," answered 
she mildly, "do not consist in unbounded indulgence, or 
luxurious ease, in the tumult of passions, the languor of 
indulgence, or the flutter of light amusements. Yielding to 
immoral pleasures, corrupts the mind ; living to animal and 
trifling ones, debases it : both in their degree, disqualify it 
for it3 genuine good, and consign it over to wretchedness. 
Whoever would be really happy, must make the diligent 
and regular exercise of his superiour powers his chief atten- 
tion ; adoring the perfections of his Maker,; expressing good- 
will to his fellow-creatures, and cultivating inward rectitude. 
To hte lower faculties he must allow such gratifications as 



i 



Lesson 161.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 365 

will, by refreshing, invigorate him for nobler pursuits. In 
the regions inhabited by angelick natures, unmingled felicity 
for ever blooms ; joy flows there with a perpetual and 
abundant stream, nor needs any mound to check its course. 
Beings conscious of a frame of mind originally diseased, as 
all the human race has cause to be, must use the regimen 
of a stricter self-government. Whoever has been guilty of 
voluntary excesses, must patiently submit both to the painful 
workings of nature, and needful severities of medicine, in 
order to his cure. Still he is entitled to a moderate share 
of whatever alleviating accommodations this fair mansion 
of his merciful Parent affords, consistent with his recovery. 
And, in proportion as this recovery advances, the liveliest 
joy will spring from his secret sense of an amended and im- 
proved heart. — So far from the horrours of despair is the 
condition even of the guilty. — Shudder, poor mortal, at the 
thought of the gulf into which thou wast just now going to 
plunge. 

" Whilst the most faulty have every encouragement to 
amend, the more innocent soul will be supported with still 
sweeter consolations under all its experience of human infir- 
mities, supported by the gladdening assurances, that every 
sincere endeavour to outgrow them, shall be assisted, ac- 
cepted, and rewarded. To such a one, the lowliest self- 
abasement is but a deep-laid foundation for the most ele- 
vated hopes ; since they who faithfully examine and ac- 
knowledge what they are, shall be enabled under my con- 
duct, to become what they desire. The Christian and the 
hero are inseparable ; and to the aspirings of unassuming 
trust and filial confidence, are set no bounds. To him who 
is animated with a view of obtaining approbation from the 
Sovereign of the universe, no difficulty is insurmountable. 
Secure, in this pursuit, of every needful aid, his conflict with 
the severest pains and trials, is little more than the vigorous 
exercises of a mind in health. His patient dependence on 
that Providence which looks through all eternity, his silent 
resignation, his ready accommodation of his thoughts and 
behaviour to its inscrutable ways, are at once the most ex- 
cellent sort of self-denial, and a source of the most exalted 
transports. Society is the true sphere of human virtue. Jn 
social, active life, difficulties will perpetually be met with ; 
restraints of many kinds will be necessary ; and studying to 
behave right in respect of these, is a discipline of the human 
heart, useful to others, and improving to itself. Suffering 

31* 



366 THE AMERICAN [Lesson W2. 

is no duty, but where it is necessary to avoid guilt, or to do 
good; nor pleasure a crime, but where it strengthens the 
influence of bad inclinations, or lessens the generous activity 
of virtue. The happiness allotted to man in his present 
state, is indeed faint and low, compared with his immortal 
prospects, and noble capacities : but yet whatever portion 
of it the distributing hand of heaven offers to each individu- 
al, is a needful support and refreshment for the present mo- 
ment, so far as it may not hinder the attaining of his final 
destination. 

44 Return then with nie from continual misery, to mode- 
rate enjoyment, and grateful alacrity: return from the con- 
tracted views of solitude, to the proper duties of a relative 
and dependent being. Religion is not confined to cells and 
closets, nor restrained to sullen retirement, _ These are the 
gloomy doctrines of Superstition, by which she endeavours 
to break those chains of benevolence and social affection, 
that linh" the welfare of every particular with that of the 
whole. Remember that the greatest honour you can pay 
the Author of your being, is a behaviour so cheerful as dis- 
covers a mkid satisfied with his dispensations." 

Here my preceptress paused ; and I was going to express 
my acknowledgments for her discourse, when a ring of bells 
from the neighbouring village, and the new risen sun dart- 
ing his beams through my windows, awoke me. 



LESSON CLX1I. 

The Waterfall. — Derzhavin. 



. 



Lo ! like a glorious pile of diamonds bright, 
Built on the steadfast cliffs, the waterfall 
P$urs forth its gems of pearl and silver light! : 
They sink, they rise, and sparkling, cover all 
With infinite refulgence: while its son^, 
Sublime as thunder, rolls the woods along— - 

Rolls through the woods— they send its accents back, 
Whose last vibration inihe desert dies : 
Its radiance glances o'er the watery track. 
Till the soft wave, as wrapt in slumber, lies 
Beneath the forest-shade ; then sweetly flows 
4. milky stream, all silent, as it goes. 






• 



Lesson 162.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 3G7 

Its foam is scattered on the margent bound, 
Skirting the darksome wood. But list ! the hum 
Of industry, the rattling hammer's sound, 
Files whizzing, creaking sluices, echoed come 
On the fast-travelling breeze ! O no ! no noise 
Is heard around, but thy majestick voice ! 






When the mad storm-jvind tears the oak asunder, 
In thee its shivered fragments find their tomb ; 
When rocks are riven by the bolt of thunder, 
As sands they sink into thy mighty womb : 
The ice that would imprison thy proud tide, 
Like hits of broken glass is scattered wide. 

The fierce wolf prowls around thee — there he stands 
Listening'— not fearful, -for he nothing fears: 
His red eyes burn like fury-kindled brands, 
Like bristles o'er him his coarse fur lie rears ; 
Howling, thy dreadful roar he oft repeats, 
And, more ferocious, hastes to bloodier feats. 

The wild stag hears thy falling waters' sound, 
And tremblingly flies forward — o'er his back 
He bends his stately horns — the noiseless ground 
His hurried feet impress not — and his track 
Is lost amidst the tumult of the breeze, 
And the leaves falling from the rustling trees. 

The wild horse thee approaches in his turn : 
He changes not his proudly rapid stride, 
His mane stands up erect — his nostrils burn — 
He snorts— he pricks his ears — -and starts aside 
Then madly rushing forward to thy steep, 
He dashes down into thy torrents deeo. 

Beneath the cedar, in abstraction sunk,. 

Close to thine awful pile of majesty, 

On yonder old and mouldering moss-bound trunk, 

That hangs upon the cliff's rude edge, I see 

An old in an, on whose forehead winter's snow 

Is scattered, and his hand supports his brow. 

The lance, the sword, the ample shield beneath. 

Lie at his feet obscured by spreading rust ; 

His casque is circled by an ivy wreath — 

Those arms were once his country's pride and trust i 



368 THE AMERICAN (Lesson 162. 

And yet upon his golden bi east-plate plays 
The gentle brightness of the sunset rays. 

He sits, and muses on the rapid stream, 

While deep thoughts struggling from his bosom rise : 

" Emblem of man ! here brightly pictured seem 

The world's gay scenery and its pageantries ; 

Which, as delusive as thy shining wave, 

Glow for the proud, the coward and the slave. 

So is our little stream of life poured out, 

In the wild turbulence of passion : so, 

Midst glory's glance and victory's thunder-shout, 

The joys of life in hurried exile go — 

Till hope's fair smile, and beauty's ray of light, 

Are shrouded in the griefs and storms of night. 

Day after day prepares the funeral shroud ; 
The world is gray with age : — the striking hour 
Is but an echo of death's summons loud — 
The jarring of the dark grave's prison-door : 
Into its deep abyss — devouring all — 
Kings and the friends of kings alike must fall." 

^ W TV" W "T* 

O glory ! glory ! mighty one on earth ! 
How justly imaged in this waterfall ! 
So wild and furious in thy sparkling birth, 
Dashing thy torrents down, and dazzling all ; 
Sublimely breaking from thy glorious height, 
Majestick, thundering, beautiful and bright. 

How many a wondering eye is turned to thee, 

In admiration lost ; — shortsighted men ! 

Thy furious wave gives no fertility ; 

Thy waters, hurrying fiercely through the plain, 

Bring nought but devastation and distress, 

And leave the flowery vale a wilderness. 

O fairer, lovelier is the modest rill, 
Watering with steps serene the field, the grove- 
Its gentle voice as sweet and soft and still, 
As shepherd's pipe, or song of youthful love. 
It has no thundering torrent, but it flows 
Unwearied, scattering blessings as it goes. 

To the wild mountain let the wanderer come, 
And, resting on the turf, look round and see, 



Lesson 162.] FIRST CLASS HOOK. 309 

With saddened eve, the green and grassy tomb. 
And hear its monitors language • he— 

He sleeps below, not famed in war alone ; 
The great, the srood, the generous minded one.- 

* ^T jjr Si 4? _ 

O ! what is human glory, human pride ? 

What are man's triumphs when they brightest seem ? 

What art thou, ftdgtrty one ! though deified 1 

Methuselah's long pilgrimage, a dream ; 

Our age is but a shade, our life a tale, 

A vacant fancv. or a passing gale, 

Or nothing ! *Tis a he aw hollow ball, 

Suspended on a slender, subtile hair, 

And rilled with storm-winds, thunders, passions, all 

Struggling; within in furious tumult there. 

Strange mvsterv \ man's gentlest breath can shake tt% 

And the light zephyrs are enough to break it. 

But a few hours, or moments, and beneath 
Empires are buried in a night of gloom : 
The verj elements are leagued with death, 
A breath sends giants to their lonely tomb. 
W here is the mighty one ? He is not found, 
His dust lies trampled in ^° "JfilseLesi £r*«>«iiU ' 

# * % fi * 

But gratitude still lives and loves to cherish 
The patriot's virtues, while the soul of song 
In sacred tones, that never, never perish, 
Fame's everlasting thunder bears along ; 
The lyre has an eternal voice — of all 
That's holy, holiest is the good man's pail. 

List then, ve worldly waterfalls ! Vain men, 
Whose brains are dizzy with ambition, bright 
Your swords- — your garments flowery like a plain 
In the spring-time — if truth be your delight. 
And virtu e vour devotion, let your sword 
Be bared alone at wisdom's sacred word. 

Roar, roar, thou waterfall ! lift up thy voice** 
Even to the-clouded regions of the skies: 
Thv brightness and thy beaut v mav rejoice, 
Thv musick charms the ears, thv light the eves, 
Jov-giving torrent ! sweetest memorv 
Receives a freshness and a strength from thee. 



370 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 1G3. 

Roll on ! no clouds shall on thy waters lie 
Darkling : no gloomy thunder-tempest break 
Over thy face : let the black night-dews fly 
Thy smiles, and sweetly let thy murmurs speak 
In distance and in nearness : be it thine 
To bless with usefulness, with beauty shine, 

Thou parent of the waterfall ! proud river J 
Thou northern thunderer, Suna ! hurrying on 
In mighty torrent from the heights, and ever 
Sparkling with glory in the gladdened sun, 
Now dashing from the mountain to the plain, 
And scattering purple fire and sapphire rain. 

'Tis momentary vehemence : thy course 

Is calm and soft and silent : clear and deep * 

Thy stately waters roll : in the proud force 

Of unpretending majesty, they sweep 

The sideless marge, and brightly, tranquilly 

Bear their rich tributes to the grateful sea. 

Thy stream, by baser waters unalloyed, 
Washes the golden banks that o'd thee smile ; 
Until tW /.] nar Q ne£ r a drinks its tide, 
And swells while welcoming the gmrume opvil 
O what a sweet and soul-composing scene, 
Clear as the cloudless heavens, and as serene ! 



LESSON CLXIII. 

Scene from Percy' } s Masque. — Hillhouse. 

k, bne. — A high-wood walk in a park. The towers of Warkwortli 
castle, in Northumberland, seen over the trees. 

Enter Arthur, in a huntsman* s dress. 

Arthur. Here let me pause, and breathe awhile, and wipe 
These servile drops from off my burning brow. 
Amidst these* venerable trees, the air 
Seems hallowed by the breath of other times. — 
Companions of my fathers ! ye have marked 
Their generations pass. Your giant arms 
Shadowed their youth, and proudly canopied 
Their silver hairs, when, ripe in years and glor; 



Lesson 163.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 371 

These walks they trod to meditate on heaven. 
What warlike pageants have ye seen ! what trains 
Of captives, and what heaps of spoil ! what pomp, 
When the victorious chief, war's tempest o'er, 
In Warkworth's bowers unbound his panoply! 
What floods of splendour, bursts of joc'und din, 
Startled the slumbering tenants of these shades 
When night awoke the tumult of the feast, 
The song of damsels, and the sweet-toned lyre ! 
Then, princely Percy reigned amidst his halls, 
Champion, and Judge, and Father of the North. 
O, days of ancient grandeur ! are ye gone ? 
For ever gone 1 Do these same scenes behold 
His offspring here, the hireling of a foe! 
O, that I knew my fate ! that I could read 
The destiny that heaven has marked for me ! 

Enter a Forester, 

For. A benison upon thee, gentle huntsman \ 
Whose towers are these that overlook the wood 1 

Ar. Earl Westmoreland's. 

For. The Neville's towers I seek. 
By dreams I learn, and prophecies most strange, 
A noble youth lurks here, whose horoscope 
Declares him fated to amazing deeds. 

Ar. [starting back) Douglas ! — 

Doug. Now do I clasp thee, Percy ; and 1 swear 
By my dear soul, and by the blood of Douglas, 
Linked to thy side, through every chance, I go, 
Till here thou rul'st, or death and night end all. 

Per. Amazement ! W r hence ? — or how ? — 

Doug. And didst thou think 
Thus to elude me ? 

Per. Answer how thou found 'st me. 
What miracle directed here thy steps ? 

Doug. Where should I look for thee, but in the post 
Where birth, fame, fortune, wrongs, and honour call thee f 
Returning from the Isles, I found thee gone, 
A while in doubt, each circumstance I weighed ; 
Thy difficulties, wrongs, and daring spirit ; 
The gay delusive show, so long maintained 
To lull observers; then set forth, resolved 
Never to enter more my native towers 
Till I had found and searched thee to the soul. 

Per. Still rr jst I wonder ; for so dark a cloud— 



372 THE AMERICAN, [Lesson 163. 

Doug. O, deeper than thou think'st, I've read thy heart 
A gilded insect to the world you seemed ; 
The fashion's idol ; person, pen, and lyre, 
The soft devoted darling* of the Fair. 
By slow degrees I found Herculean nerve, 
Hid in thy tuneful arm ; — that hunger, thirst, 
The sultry chase, the bleakest mountain bed, 
The dark, rough, winter torrent, were to thee 
But pastime ; more were courted than repose. 
To others, your discourse still wild and vain, 
To me, when none else heard thee, seemed the voice 
Of heavenly oracles. 

Per. O, partial friendship. 

Doug. Yet had I never guessed your brooded purpose. — 
Rememberest thou the Regent's masque 1 the birth night 1 — 

Per. Well. 

Doug. That night you glittered through the crowded halls, 
Gay, and capricious as a sprite of air. 
Apollo rapt us when you touched the lyre ; 
Cupid fanned odours from your purple wings ■"; 
Or Mercury amused with ma^ick wand,* 1 
Mocking our senses with your feathered heel. 
In every fancy, shape, and hue, you moved, 
The admiration, pity, theme of all.- — 
One bed received us. Soon, your moaning voice 
Disturbed me. Dreaming, heavily you groaned, 
; O, Percy ! Percy ! Hotspur ! O, my father ! 
Upbraid me not ! hide, hide those ghastly wounds ! 
Usurper ! Traitor ! thou shalt feel me!' 

Per. Heavens! 

Doug. 'Tis true : — and more than I can now remember. 

Per. And never speak of it ? 

Doug. Inly I burned ; 
But honour, pride, forbade.f Pilfer from dreams ! 
Thou knew'st the ear, arm, life of Douglas, thine — 

Per. And long ago I had disclosed to thee 
My troubled bosom, but my enterprise 
So rife with peril seemed— to hearts less touched. 
So hopeless ! Knowing thy impetucus soul, 
How could I justify the deed to heaven, 
How to thine aged sire 1 Armed proof I stand, 
To fate : come what will come— the wide earth bears 
No heart of kindred blood to mourn my fall. 

* Pronounced as the first syllable in icander. if |Pr«n. -ftf /■•-/. 



Lesson 163.] FIRST CLASS BOOR. 373 

Doug. The heart of Douglas beats not with thy blood, 
But never will I trust in mercy more, 
In justice, truth, or heaven, if it forsake thee. 

Per. Douglas, thy friendship is my choicest treasure ; — 
Has been a radiant star on my dark way : 
And never did I doubt thy zeal to serve me. 
Lend, now, a patient ear. — While with my doom 
Alone, I strive, no dread or doubt distracts me. 
No precious fate with mine involved, my heart 
Is fearless, firm my step. Exposing thee, 
The adamantine buckler falls, and leaves me, 
Naked, and trembling, to a double death. 

Doug. Thou lov'st me not. 

Per. Let Heaven be witness there ! — 
The thought of bringing down thy father's hairs 
With sorrow to the grave, would weigh like guilt, 
Palsy my soul, and cripple all my powers. 

Doug. Lo ! — have I wandered o'er the hills for this ? 

Per. I would not wound thee, Douglas, well thou know'st , 
But thus to hazard on a desperate cast 
Thy golden fortunes — 

Doug. Cursed be the blood within me, 
Plagues and the grave o'ertake me, if I leave thee ; 
Though gulfs yawned under thee, and roaring seas 
Threatened to whelm thee ! 

Per. For thy father's sake — 

Doug. Peace ! I'd not go if staying here would strew* 
His hoar hairs in the tomb — not. stir, by heaven ! 
Must I toss counters ? sum the odds of life, 
When honour points the way ? — When was the blood 
Of Douglas precious in a noble cause 1 

Per. Nay, hear me, hear me, Douglas — 

Doug. Talk to me 
Of dangers ? Death and shame ! is not my race 
As high, as ancient, and as proud as thine ? 

Per. I've clone. 

Doug. By heaven, it grieves me, Harry Percy, 
Preaching such craven arguments to me. 
Now tell me how thou stand'st ; thy cause how prospered. 
What has been done 1 What projects are afoot ? 
Acquaint me quickly. — 

Per. Gently ; lest some busy ear 
Be near us. Little have I yet to tell thee. 

* Pronounced straw. 

32 



374 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 163. 

Thinking my rival's coat would best conceal me, 
I won his favour by a tale scarce feigned. 

Doug. A keeper of his chase thy garb bespeaks. 

Per. Chief huntsman. Thus disguised, I day by day 
Traverse my native hills, viewing the strength 
And features of the land ; its holds of safety ; 
And searching patriot spirits out. For, still, 
Though kings and gaudy courts remember not, 
Still, in the cottage and the peasant's heart, 
The memory of my fathers lives. When there, 
The old, the good old day is cited, tears 
Roll down their reverend beards, and genuine love 
Glows in their praises of my sires. 

Doug. I long 
To press the sons, and tell them what a lord 
Lives yet to rule them. 

Per. When first I mixed among them, oft I struck, 
Unwittingly, a spark of this same fire. 
Encouraged thus, I sought its latent seeds ; 
Seized opportunities to draw the chase 
Into the bosom of the hills, and spent 
Nights in their hospitable, happy cots. 
There, to high strains, the minstrel harp I tuned, 
Chanting the glories of the ancient day, 
When their brave fathers, scorning to be slaves, 
Rushed with their chieftain to the battle field, 
Trod his bold footsteps in the ranks of death, 
And shared his triumphs in the festal hall. 

Doug. That lulled them, as the north wind does the sea* 

Per. From man to man, from house to house, like fire, 
The kindling impulse flew ; till every hind, 
Scarce conscious why, handles his targe and bow ; 
Still talks of change ; starts if the banished name 
J$y chance he hears ; and supplicates his saint, 
The true-born offspring may his banner rear, 
With speed upon the hills. 

Doug. What lack we ? Spread 
The warlike ensign. On the Border side, 
Two hundred veteran spears await your summons. 

Per. What say'st thou ! 

Doug. Sinews of the house ; 
Ready to tread in every track of Douglas. 
By stealth I drew them in from distant points, 
And hid amidst a wood in Chevy-Chase. 



Lesson 164.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 375 

Per. O, Douglas ! Douglas ! even such a friend, 
For death or life, was thy great sire to mine. 

Dong. Straight, let us turn our trumpets to the hills ; 
Declare aloud thy name, and wrongs ; in swarms 
Call down the warlike tenantry, and teach 
Aspiring Neville fatal is the day 
The Percy and the Douglas lead in arms. 

Per. If he were all — Remember haughty Henry, 
The nephew* of his wife, whose word could speed 
A veteran army to his kinsman's aid. 

Doug. Come one, come all ; leave us to welcome them. 

[Exit Douglas. 
* # # # * 

Per. Too long, too long a huntsman, Arthur comes 
Stripped of disguise? this night, to execute 
His father's testament, — whose blood lies spilt; 
Whose murmurs from the tomb are in his ears ; 
Whose injuries are treasured in a scroll 
Steeped in a mother's and an orphan's tears. 
O'er that cursed record has my spirit groaned, 
Since dawninsr reason, in unuttered anguish. 
When others danced, struck the glad wire, or caught 
The thrilling murmurs of loved lips, I've roamed 
Where the hill-foxes howl, and eagles cry, 
Brooding o'er wrongs that haunted me for vengeance. 
Ay ! — I have been an outcast from my cradle ; 
Poor, and in exile, while an alien called 
My birth-right, home. Halls founded by my sires 
Have blazed and rudely rung with stranger triumphs ; 
Their honourable name cowards have stained; 
Their laurels trampled on ; — their bones profaned. 
Hence have I laboured ; — watched while others slept ; 
Known not the spring of life, nor ever plucked 
One vernal blossom in the day of youth. — 
The harvest of my toils this night I reap ; 
For death, this night, or better life Awaits me. 



LESSON CLXIV. 

The Prodigal Son. 

A certain man had two sons : and the younger of them 
aid unto his father, " Father, give me the portion of goods 

# Pronounced nev'ew. 



376 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 164 

that falleth to me." And he divided unto them his living 
And, not many days after, the younger son gathered all to 
gether, and took his journey into a far country, and there 
wasted his substance with riotous living. And, when he 
had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land ; 
and he began to be in want. And he went and joined him- 
self to a citizen of that country ; and he sent him into his 
fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled himself 
with the husks that the swine did eat ; and no man gave 
unto him. 

And, when he came to himself, he said, " How many hired 
servants of my father's have bread enough, and to spare ; — 
and I perish with hunger ! — I will arise, and go to my fa- 
ther, and will say unto him — Father, I have sinned against 
heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be call- 
ed thy son : — -make me as one of thy hired servants. 

And he arose, and was coming to his father : — but, while 
he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had 
compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 
And the son said unto him, " Father, I have sinned against 
heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be 
called thy son," But the father said to his servants, " Bring 
forth the best robe, and put it on him ; and put a ring on his 
hand, and shoes on his feet ; — and bring hither the fatted calf, 
and kill it ; and let us eat, and be merry : — for this, my son, 
was dead, and is alive again ;— he was lost, and is found." 

Now his elder son was in the field : — -and as he came and 
drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And 
he called one of the servants, and asked what these things 
meant. And he said unto him, " Thy brother is come ; and 
thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath re- 
ceived him safe and sound." 

And he was angry ; — and would not go in : therefore 
came his father out and entreated him. And he, answering, 
said to his father, " Lo, these many years have I served 
thee, neither transgressed I, at any time, thy command- 
ment ; and yet — thou never gavest me a kid, that I might 
make merry with my friends : — But, as soon as this — thy 
son was come, who hath devoured thy living with harlots, 
thou hast killed for him the fatted calf." 

And the father said unto him — ?" Son, thou art ever with 
me ; and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we 
should make merry and be glad : for this — thy brother— 
was dead, and is alive again ; and was lost, and is found." 



Lesson 105.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. ;*?7 

LESSON CLXV. 

The Churcli-yard. — Karamsin. 

[From tiie Russian Anthology.] 

First Voice. 

How frightful the grave ! how deserted and drear ! 
. With the howls of the storm-wind — the creaks of the bier, 
And the white bones all clattering together ! 

Second Voice, 

How peaceful the grave ! its quiet how deep : 
Its zephyrs breathe calmly, and soft is its sleep, 
And flowerets perfume it with ether. 

First Void. 

There riots the blood-crested worm on the dead, 
And the yellow skull serves the foul toad for a bed, 
And snakes in it's nettle weeds hiss. 

Second Voice. 

How lovely, how sweet the repose of the tomb : 
No tempests are there : — but the nightingales come 
And sing their sweet chorus of bliss. 

First Voice. 

The ravens of night flap their -wings o'er the grave : 
5 Tis the vulture's abode : — 'tis the wolf's dreary cave, 
Where they tear up the earth with their fangs. 

Second Voice. 

There the cony at evening disports with his love, 
Or rests on the sod ; — while the turtles above, 
Repose on the bough that o'erhangs. 

First Voice. 

There darkness and dampness with poisonous breaih 
And loathsome decay fill the dwelling of death ; 
The trees are all barren and bare ! 

Second Voice. 

O, soft are the breezes that play round the tomb, 
And sweet with the violet's wafted perfume, 
With lilies and jessamine fair. 
32* 



THE AMERICAN {Lesson 16C 

First Voice. 

The pilgrim who reaches this valley of tears, 
Would fail; hurry by, and with trembling and fears, 
He is launched on the wreck-covered river ! 

Second Voice, 

The traveller outworn with life's pilgrimage dreary, 
Lays down his rude staff, like one that is weary, 
And sweetly reposes for ever. 



LESSON CLXVI. 

The rich man and the poor man. — Khemnitzer. 

[From the same.] 

So goes the world ; — if wealthy, you may call 
This friend, t&at brother ; — friends and brothers all ; 
Though you are vrorthless — witless — never mind it ; 
You may have been a stable boy — what then ? 
'Tis wealth, good Sir, makes honourable men. 
You seek respect, no doubt, and you will find it. 

But if you are poor, heaven help you ! though your sire 

Had royal blood within him, and though you 

Possess the intellect of angels too, 

'Tis all in vain ; — the world will ne'er inquire 

On such a score : — Why should it take the pains ? 

'Tis easier to weigh purses, sure, than brains. 

I once saw a poor fellow, keen and clever, 

Witty and wise : — Fie paid a man a visit, 

And no one noticed him, and no one ever 

Gave him a welcome. " Strange," cried I, " whence is it V* 

He walked on this siJe, then on that, 

He tried to introduce a social chat ; 
Now here, now there, in vain lie tried; 
Some formally and freezingly replied, 

And some 
Said by their silence — " Better stay at home.' 

A rich man burst the door, 

As Crccsus rich, I'm sure 
He could not pride himself upon his wit ; 
And as for wisdom, he had none of it ; 



}> 



Lesson 167.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. ZVJ 

He had what's better ; — he had wealth. 

What a confusion ! — ail stand up erect — 
These crowd around to ask him of his health ; 

.ese bow in honest duty and respect ; 
And these arrange a sofa or a chair, 
And these conduct him there. 
•• Allow me, Sir, the honour ;" — Then a bow 
Down to the earth — Is't possible to show 
Meet gratitude for such kind condescension ? 

The poor man hung his head : 

And to himself he said, 
" This is indeed be von d my comprehension :" 

Then looking round, 

One friendly face he found, 
And said — " Pray tell me why is wealth preferr'd 
To wisdom V — " That's a silly question, friend !" 
Replied the other — "have you never heard, 

A man may lend his store 

Of gold or silver ore, 
But wisdom none can borrow, none can lend ?" 



LESSON CLXVII. 

The abuses of Conscience. — A Sermon. — Sterne. 

Hebrews xiii. 18. 
For we trust we have a good Conscience. 

u Trust \~ Trust v/e have a good conscience-" 

[Certainly Trim, quoth my father, interrupting him, you 
give that sentence a very improper accent ; for you curl up 
your nose, man, and read it with such a sneering tone, as if 
the parson was going to abuse the Apostle, 

He is, a. lease your ho::' ur, replied Trim. 

Pusrh !* said rav father, smiling. 

Sii :oth Doctor Slop, Trim is certainly in the right; for 
the writer, (who I perceive is a Protestant by the snappish 
manner in which he takes up the Apostle.) is certainly going 
to abuse him : — if this treatment of him has not done it al- 
ready, But from whence, replied my father, have you con- 
cluded so soon, Doctor Slop* that the writer is of our 
church 1 — for aught I can see vet, — he may be of anv 

* Pronounced pooh. 



380 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 107. 

church. — Because, answered Doctor Slop, if he was of ours, 
— he durst no more take such a license,-— than a bear by 
his beard; — If in our communion, Sir, a man was to insuit 
an apostle, — a saint, — or even the paring of a saint's nail, 
— he would have his eye scratched out. — What, by the saint ? 
quoth my uncle Toby. No, replied Doctor Slop, he would 
have an old house over his head. Pray is the Inquisition an 
ancient building, answered my uncle Toby ; or is it a modern 
one ? — I know nothing of architecture, replied Doctor Slop. 
An't please your honours : quoth Trim, the inquisition is the 
vilest — Prithee spare thy description, Trim, I hate the very 
name of it, said my father. — No matter for that, answered 
Doctor Slop, — it has its uses ; for though I'm no great 
advocate for it, yet, in such a case as this, he would soon be 
taught better manners ; and I can tell him, if he went on at 
that rate, would be flung into the inquisition for his pains. 
God help him then, quoth my uncle Toby. Amen, added 
Trim; for Heaven above knows, I have a poor brother who 
has been fourteen years a captive in it. — I never heard one 
word of it before, said my uncle Toby, hastily : How came 
he there, Trim? — O, Sir! the story will make your heart 
\ '^ed, — as it has made mine a thousand times ; — the short of 
u. story is this; — That my brother Tom went over, a ser- 
vant, to Lisbon — and married a Jew's widow, who kept a 
small shop, and sold sausages, winch some how or other, 
was the cause of his bein«; taken in the middle of the night 
out of his bed, where he was lying with his wife and two 
small children, and carried directly to the inquisition, where, 
God help him, continued Trim, fetching a sigh from the 
bottom of his heart, — the poor honest lad lies confined at 
this hour ; he was as honest a soul, added Trim (pulling out 
his handkerchief,) as ever blood vs armed. — 

— -The tears trickled down Trim's cheeks faster than he 
could well wipe them away. — A dead silence in the room 
ensued for some minutes. Certain proof of pity ! Come, 
Trim, quoth my father, after he saw the poor fellow's grief 
had got a little vent, — read on, — and put this melancholy 
story out of thy head — I grieve that I interrupted thee : but 
prithee begin the sermon again ; — for if the first sentence 
in it is matter of abuse, as thou sayest, I have a great desire 
to know what kind of provocation the Apostle has given. 

Corporal Trim wiped his face, and returned his handker- 
chief into his pocket, and, making a bow as he did it, — he 
began again.] 



Lesson 1C8.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 381 

LESSON CLXVIII. 

The Abuses of Conscience, — A Sermon.* — Sterne 

Heb. xiii. 18. 

- 

For we trust we have a good Conscience. 

44 — Trust ! Trust we have a good conscience ! Surely* 
if there is any thing in this life which a man may depend 
upon, and to the knowledge of which he is capable. of ar- 
riving upon the most indisputable evidence, it must be this 
very thing, — whether he has a good conscience or no." 

[I am positive I am right, quotu Dr. Slop.] 

" If a man thinks at all, he cannot well be a stranger to 
the true state of this account ; — he must be privy to his own 
thoughts and desires — he must remember his past pursuits, 
and know certainly the true springs and motives, which in 
general have governed the actions of his life." [I defy him, 
without an assistant, quoth Dr. Slop.] 

" In other matters we may be deceived by false appear- 
ances ; and, as the wise man complains, hardly do we guess 
ari::lu at the things that are upon the earth, and with labour 
do we find the things that are before us. But here the mind 
has all the evidence and facts within herself ; — is conscious 
of the web she has wove ; — knows its texture and fineness, 
and the exact share which every passion has had in work- 
ing upon the several designs which virtue or vice has plan- 
ned before her." . ** 

[The language is good, and I declare Trim reads very 
well, quoth my father.] 

" Now, — as conscience is nothing else but the knowledge 
which the mind has within herself of this ; and the judge- 
ment, either of approbation or censure, which it unavoida- 
bly makes upon the successive actions of our lives ; it is 
plain you will say, from the very terms of the proposition, 
— whenever this inward testimony goes against a man, and 
he stands self-accused, — -that he must necessarily be a guilty 
man. — And, on the contrary, when the report is favourable 
on his side, and his heart condemns him not ; — that it is not 
a matter of trust, as the apostle intimates, but a matter of 
certainty and fact that the conscience is good, and that the 
man must be good also." 

[Then the apostle is altogether in the wrong, I suppose, 
quo*h Dr. Slop, and the Protestant divine is in the right. 



382 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 168. 

S*r, have patience, replied my father ; for I think it will 
presently appear that Saint Paul and the Protestant divine 
are both of an opinion. — As nearly so, quoth Dr. Slop, as 
east is to west ; — but this, continued he, lifting both hands, 
comes from the liberty of the press. 

It is no more, at the worst, replied my uncle Toby, than 
the liberty of the pulpit, for it does not appear that the ser- 
mon is printed, or ever likely to be. 

[Go on Trim, quoth my father.] 

" At first sight this may seem to be a true state of the 
case ; and I make no doubt but the knowledge of right and 
wrong is so truly impressed upon the mind of man, — that 
did no such thing ever happen, as that the conscience of a 
man, by long habits of sin, might (as the scriptures assure 
us it may) insensibly become hard ; — and like some tender 
parts of his body, by much stress and continual hard usage, 
lose, by degrees, that nice sense and perception with which 
God and nature endowed it : — Did this never happen : — or 
was it certain that self-love could never hang the least bias 
upon the judgement ; — or that the little interests below could 
rise up and perplex the faculties of our upper regions, and 
encampass them about with clouds and thick darkness : — - 
could no such thing as favour and affection enter this sacred 
court : — -did wit disdain to take a bribe in it ; — or was asham- 
ed to show its face as an advocate for an unwarrantable en- 
joyment :— or, lastly, were we assured that interest stood 
always unconcerned whilst the cause was hearing, — and that 
passion never got into the judgement-seat, and pronounced 
sentence in the stead of reason, which is always supposed 
to preside and determine upon the case ; — was this truly so, 
as the objection must suppose ; — no doubt then the religious 
and moral estate of a man would be exactly what he him- 
self esteemed it : — and the guilt or innocence of every man's 
life could be known, in general, by no better measure, than 
the degrees of his own approbation and censure. 

" I own, in one case, whenever a man's conscience does 
accuse him (as it seldom errs on that side) that he is guilty ; 
and unless, in melancholy and hypochondriack cases, we 
may safely pronounce upon it, that there is always sufficient 
grounds for the accusation, 

" But the converse of the proposition will not hold true ; 
— namely, that whenever there is guilt, the conscience 
must accuse : and if it does, not, that a man is therefore in- 
nocent. — This is not fact — So that the common consolation 



Lesson 168.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 383 

which some good Christian or other is hourly administering 
to himself, — that he thanks God his mind does not misgive 
him ; and that, consequently he has a good conscience, be- 
cause lie has a quiet one, — is fallacious ; — and as current as 
the inference is, and as infallible as the rule appears at 
first sight ; yet when you look nearer to it, and try the 
truth of this rule upon plain facts, — you see it liable to so 
much errour from a false application ; — the principle upon 
which it goes so often prevented ; — the whole force of it 
lost, and sometimes, so vilely cast away, that it is painful to 
produce the common examples from human life, which con- 
firm the account. 

" A man shall be vicious and utterly debauched in his 
principles ; — exceptionable in his conduct to the world ; 
shall live shameless, in the open commission of a sin, which 
no reason or pretence can justify, — a sin by which, contrary 
to all the workings of humanity, he shall ruin for ever the 
deluded partner of his guilt ; — rob her of her best dowry ; 
and not only cover her own head with dishonour, — but in- 
volve a whole virtuous family in shame and sorrow for her 
sake. Surely, you will think conscience must Jead such a 
man a troublesome life ; — he can have no rest night or day 
from its reproaches. 

" Alas ! Conscience had something else to do all this time. 
than break in upon him ; as Elijah reproached the god 
Baal, — this domestick god teas either talking, or pursuing, or 
was in a journey, or per adventure he slept and could not be 
awaked. Perhaps he was going out in company with Honour 
to fight a duel ; to pay off some debt at play ; — or perhaps 
Conscience all this time was engaged at home, talking aloud 
against petty larceny, and executing vengeance upon some 
such puny crimes as his fortune and rank of life secured 
him against all temptation of committing ; so that he lives 
as merrily," — [If he was of our church, though, quoth Dr. 
Slop, he could not] — " sleeps as soundly in his bed ; and at 
last meets death as unconcernedly, — perhaps much more so, 
than a much better man." 

[All this is impossible with us, quoth Dr. Slop, turning to 
my father, — the case could not happen in our church.— It 
happens in ours however, replied my father, but too often. 
— I own, quoth Dr. Slop, (struck a little with my father's 
frank acknowledgment) that a man in the Romish church 
may live as badly ; — but then he cannot easily die so. — 
'Tis little matter, replied my father, with an air of indif- 



384 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 168 

ference, — how a rascal dies. — I mean, answered Dr. Slop, 
he would be denied the benefits of the last sacraments. — * 
Pray, how many have you in all ? said my uncle Toby,— 
for I always forget. — Seven, answered Dr. Slop, — Humph ! 
— said uncle Toby ; though not accented as a note of acqui- 
escence, — Lu: as an interjection of that particular species of 
surprise, when a man, in looking into a drawer, finds more 
than he expected. — Humph ! replied my uncle Toby. Dr. 
Slop, who had an ear, understood my uncle Toby as well as 
if he had written a whole volume against the seven sacra- 
ments. — Humph ! replied Dr. Slop (stating my uncle Toby's 
argument over again to him) — Why, Sir, are there not seven 
cardinal virtues 1 — Seven mortal sins ? — Seven golden can- 
dlesticks — Seven heavens ? — 'Tis more than I know, replied 
my uncle Toby. — Are there not seven wonders of the world ? 
— Seven days of the creation ? — Seven planets 1 — Seven 
plagues ? — That there are, quoth my father with a most af- 
fected gravity. But prithee, continued he, go on with the 
rest of thy characters, Trim.] 

" Another is sordid, unmerciful," (here Trim waved his 
right hand) " a strait-hearted, selfish wretch, incapable either 
of private friendship, or publick spirit. Take notice how 
he passes by the widow and orphan in their distress, and 
sees all the miseries incident to human life without a sigh 
or a prayer.' 1 [An't please your honours, cried Trim, I 
rhink this a viler man than the other.] 

" Shall not conscience rise up and sting him on such oc- 
casions ? — No ; thank God, there is no occasion. I pay every 
man his own ; Ihave no debaucheries to answer to my conscience ; 
- — no faithless vows or promises to make up ; — I have dishonour- 
ed no man's wife, or child ; — thank God, I am not as other men, 
adulterers, unjust, or even as this libertine, ivho stands be- 
fore me. A third is crafty and designing in his nature. View 
his whole life, — it is nothing but a cunning contexture of 
dark arts and unequitable subterfuges, basely to defeat the 
true intent of all laws. — plain dealing, and the safe enjoy- 
ment of our several properties. — You will see such a one 
working out a frame of little designs upon the ignorance 
and perplexities of the poor and needy man, — and raising a 
fortune upon the inexperience of a youth, or the unsuspect- 
ing temper of his friend, who would have trusted him with 
his life. When old age comes on, and repentance calls 
him to look back upon this black account, and state it over 
again with his conscience — Conscience looks into the Statutes 



Lesson 168.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 385 

at large ; — finds no express law broken by what he has 
done ; — perceives no penalty or forfeiture of goods and 
chattels incurred ; — sees no scourge waving over his head, 
or prison opening its gates upon him : — What is there to af- 
fright his conscience ! — Conscience has got safely entrench- 
ed behind the Letter of the Law, sits there invulnerable, 
fortified with Cases and Reports so strongly on all sides ;— 
that it is not preaching can dispossess it of its hold." 

[The character of this last man, said Dr. Slop, interrupt- 
ing Trim, is more detestable than all the rest ; — and seems 
to have been taken from some pettifogging lawyer amongst 
you : — amongst us, a man's conscience could not possibly 
continue so long blinded, — three times a year, at least, h« 
must go to coufession. Will that restore it to sight 1 quoth 
my uncle Toby — Go on, Trim, quoth my father. 'Tis very 
short, replied Trim. — I wish it was longer, quoth my uncle 
Toby, for I like it hugely. — Trim went on.] 

" To have the fear of God before our eyes, and, in our 
mutual dealings with each other* to govern our actions by 
the eternal measures of right pod wrong : — The first of these 
will comprehend the duties of religion, — -the second those 
of morality, which are so inseparably connected together, 
that you cannot divide these two tables, even in imagination, 
(though the attempt is often made in practice,) without 
breaking and mutually destroying them both. 

[Here my father observed that Dr. Slop was fast asleep.] 

" I said the attempt is often made ; — and so it is ; — there 
being nothing more common than to see a man who has no 
sense at all of religion, and, indeed, has so much honesty 
as to pretend to none, who would take it as the bitterest 
affront, should you but hint at a suspicion on his moral 
character, or imagine he was not conscientiously just and 
scrupulous to the uttermost mite. 

"When there is some appearance that it is so, — though one 
is unwilling even to suspect the appearance of so amiable a 
virtue as moral honesty, yet were we to look into the grounds 
of it, in the present case, I am persuaded we should find lit- 
tle reason to envy such a one the honour of his motive. 

44 Let him declaim as pompously as he chooses upon the 
subject, it will be found to rest upon no better foundation 
than either his interest, his pride, his ease, or some such 
little and changeable passion as will give us but small de- 
pendence upon his actions in matters of great distress. 

44 1 will illustrate this bv an example 
33 



L V^« 



386 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 188. 

" I know the banker I deal with, or the physician I usu 
ally call in" — [There is no need, cried Dr. Slop, (waking) 
to call in any physician in this case.] 

" To be neither of them men of much religion ; I 

hear them make a jest of it every day, and treat all its 
sanctions with so much scorn as to put the matter past 
doubt. Well, notwithstanding this, 1 put my fortune into 
the hands of the one ; — and, what is dearer still to me, I 
trust my life to the honest skill of the other. 

" Now let me examine what is my reason for this great 
confidence. Why, in the first place, I believe there is no 
probability that either of them will employ the power I put 
into their hands to my disadvantage. — I consider that hon- 
esty serves the purposes of this life : — I know their success 
in the world depends upon the fairness of their characters. 
In a word, I am persuaded that they cannot hurt me, with- 
out hurting themselves more. 

" But put it otherwise y namely, that interest lay, for once, 
on the other side : — that a ?,ase should happen wherein the 
one, without stain to his reputation, could secrete my for- 
tune, and leave me naked in the world ; — or that the other 
could send me out of it, and enjoy an estate by my death, 
without dishonour to himself or his art :— In this case, what 
hold have I of either of them ? — Religion, the strongest of 
all motives, is out of the question ; — Interest, the next most 
powerful motive in the world, is strongly against me t— 
What have I left to cast into the opposite scale to balance 
this temptation 1 — Alas ! I have nothing, — but what is lighter 
than a bubble — I must lie at the mercy o£ Honour, or some 
such capricious principle — Strait security for two of the 
most valuable blessings ! my property and myself. 

" As therefore we can have no dependence upon morality 
without religion, — so, on the other hand, there is nothing 
better to be expected from religion without morality; — 
nevertheless, 'tis no prodigy to see a man whose real mora! 
character stands very low, who yet entertains the highest 
notion of himself, in the light of a religious man. 

" He shall not only be covetous, revengeful, implacable* 
— but even wanting in points of common honesty ; yet in as 
much as he talks aloud against the infidelity of the age, —is 
zealous for some points of religion, — goes twice a-day to 
church, — attends the sac'raments, — and amuses himself with 
a few instrumental parts of religion, — shall cheat his con- 
science into a judgement, that for this faf is a religious man, 



Lesson 168.J FIRST CLASS BOOK. 387 

and has discharged truly his duty to God : and you will find 
that such a man, through force of this delusion, generally 
looks down with spiritual pride upon every other man who 
has less affectation of piety, — though, perhaps, ten times 
more real honesty than himself. 

" This likewise is a sore evil under the sun : and, I helieve, 
there is no one mistaken principle, which, for its time, has 
wrought more serious mischiefs. 

" For a general proof of this, examine the history of 

the Romish church." 

[Well, what can you make of that ? cried Dr. Slop.]— 

a see what scenes of cruelty, murder, rapine, bloodshed," — 

They may thank their own obstinacy, cried Dr. Slop~\— 

"have all been sanctified by religion not strictly governed by 

morality. 

" In how many kingdoms of the world has the crusading 
sword of this misguided Saint-errant, spared neither age, nor 
merit, nor sex, nor condition ?- — and, as he fought under the 
banners of a religion which set him loose from justice and 
humanity, he showed none ; mercilessly trampled upon both, 
— heard neither the cries of the unfortunate, nor pitied their 
distresses." 

[I have been in many a battle, an't please your honour, 
quoth Trim, sighing, but never in so melancholy a one a# 
this. — I would not have drawn a trigger in it against thes* 
poor souls, to have h^en made a general officer. Why, whai 
do you understand of the affair ? said Dr. Slop, (looking to- 
wards 7 rim, with something more of contempt than th* 
Corporal's honest heart deserved) — What do you know 
friend, about this battle you talk of? — I know, replied Trim* 
that I never refused quarter in my life to any man who cried 
out for it : — but to a woman or a child, continued Trim, be- 
fore I would level my musket at them, I would lose my life 
a thousand times. — Here's a crown for thee, Trim, to drink 
with Obacliah to-night, quoth my uncle Toby, — God bless 
your honour, replied Trim — I had rather these poor women 
and children had it. — Thou art an honest fellow, quoth my 
uncle Toby. — My father nodded his head, as much as to say, 
— and so he is.] 



388 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 169. 

LESSON CLXIX. 

Dirge of Al'aric, the Visigoth, 

Who stormed and spoiled the city of Rome, and was afterwards 
buried in the channel of the river Busentius, the water of which 
had been diverted from its course that the body might be interred. 

Everett. 

When I am dead, no pageant train 
Shall waste their sorrows at my bier, 

Nor worthless pomp of homage vain, 
Stain it with hypocritick tear ; 

For I will die as I did live, 

Nor take the boon I cannot give. 

Ye shall not raise a marble bust 

Upon the spot. where I repose ; 
Ye shall not fawn before my dust, 

In hollow circumstance of woes: 
Nor sculptured clay, with lying breath, 
Insult the clay that moulds beneath. 

Ye shall not pile, with, servile toil, 

Your monuments upon my breast, 
Nor yet witnin the common soil 

Lay down the wreck of Power to rest ; 
Where man can boast .feat he has trod 
On him, that was " thfi^comge of God."* 

But ye the mountain stream shall turn, 

And lay its secret channel bare, 
And hollow, for ycur sovereign's urn, 

A resting-place for ever there : 
Then bid its everlasting springs 
Flow back upon the King of Kings ; 
And never be the secret said, 
Until the deep give up his dead. 

My gold and silver ye shall fling 

Back to the clods, that gave them birth ; — 

The captured crowns of many a king, 
The ransom of a conquered earth : 

For e'en though dead will I control 

The trophies of the capitol. 

But when beneath the mountain tide, 
Ye've laid your monarch down to rot, 

* See the note on page 390. 



Lr$son 16D.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 3S9 

Ye shall not rear upon its side 

Pillar or mound to mark the spot ; 
For long: enough the world has shook 
Beneath the terrours of my look ; 
And now that I have run my race, 
The astonished realms shall rest a space. 

My course was like a river deep, 
And from the northern lulls I burst, 

Across the world in wrath to sweep, 
And where I went the spot was cursed, 

Nor blade of grass again was seen 

Where Alaric and his hosts had been.* 

See how their haughty barriers fail 

Beneath the terrour of the Goth, 
Their iron-breasted legions quail 

Before my ruthless sabaoth, 
And low the Queen of empires kneels, 
And grovels at my chariot-wheels. 

Not for myself did I ascend 

In judgement my triumphal car ; 
'Twas God alone on high did send 

The avenging Scythian to the war, 
To shake abroad, with iron hand, 
The appointed scourge of his command. 

With iron hand that scourge I reared 

O'er guilty king and guilty realm ; 
Destruction was the ship I steered, 

And vengeance sat upon the helm, 
When, launched in fury on the flood, 
I ploughed my way through seas of blood, 
Arid in the stream their hearts had snilt 
Washed out the long arrears of guilt. 

Across the everlasting Alp 

I poured the torrent of my powers 
And feeble Caesars shrieked for help 

In vain witiiin their seven-hilled towers 
I quenched in blood the brightest gem 
That glittered in their diadem, 
And struck a darker, deeper die 
In the purple of their majesty, 

* See the note on page 390 

33* 



390 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 170 

And bade my northern banners shine 
Upon the conquered Palatine. 

My course is run, my errand done : 

I go to Him from whom I came ; 
But never yet shall set the sun 

Of glory that adorns my name ; 
And Roman hearts shall long be sick, 
When men shall think of Alaric, 

My course is run, my errand done — 

But darker ministers of fate 
Impatient, round the eternal throne, 

And in the caves of vengeance, wait ; 
And soon mankind shall blench away 
Before the name of At'tila.* 



LESSON CLXX. 

Lines written on visiting the beautiful bury ing-ground at New 

Haven. — Christian Disciple. 

O ! whebe are they, whose all that earth could give, 
Beneath these senseless marbles disappeared ? 

Where even they, who taught these stones to grieve ; 
The hands that hewed them, and the hearts that reared 1 
Such the poor bounds of all that's hoped or feared, 

Within the griefs and smiles of this short day ! 
Here sunk the honoured, vanished the endeared ; 

This the last tribute love to love could pay, 
An idle pageant pile to graces passed away. 

*■ Al tila was the king of the Huns, and, for many years, in the first 
half of the fifth century, was the terrour both of Constantinople and 
Rome. Not long after the death of Alaric, he invaded the Roman em- 
pire, at the head of half a million of barbarians, and with fire and sword 
laid waste many of its most fertile provinces. Into the bold sketch of | 
Alaric, which is given in this Dirge, tfre poet, in the license of his art ; 
h^s throwr some of the distinguishing features of Attila. It maybe 
well to advise the youthful reader, that, as a matter of sober history, it 
wa* Attila, and not Alaric, who used to say that the grass never grew 
wherw his horso had trod ; and that it was not Alaric, but Attila, who 
was culled the Scourge of God. With this appellation the king of the 
*<u«* wat a, well pleased that he adopted it as one of his titles of 
b noiHr. 



■m 



Lesson 171.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 3M 

Why deck these sculptured trophies of the tomb ? 

Why, victims, garland thus the spoiler's fane 1 
Hope ye by these to avert oblivion's doom ; 

In grief ambitious, and in ashes vain ? 

Go, rather, bid the sand the trace retain, 
Of all that parted virtue felt and did ! 

Yet powerless man revolts at ruin's reign ; 
Hence blazoned flattery mocks pride's coffin lid ; 
Hence towered on Egypt's plains the giant pyramid. 

Sink, mean memorials of what cannot die ! 

Be lowly as the relicks ye o'erspread ! 
Nor lift your funeral forms so gorgeously, 

To tell who slumbers in each narrow bed : 

I would not honour thus the sainted dead ; 
Nor to each stranger's careless ear declare 

My sacred griefs for joy and friendship fled. 
O, let me hide the names of those that were, 
Deep in my stricken heart, and shrine them only there ! 



LESSON CLXXI. 

Some account of the character and merits of John Playfair, 
Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of 
Edinburgh.- — Je ffre y. 

It has struck many people, we believe, as very extraor- 
dinary, that so eminent a person as Mr. PI ay fair should have 
been allowed to sink into his grave in the midst of us, with- 
out calling forth almost so much as an attempt to commem- 
orate his merit, even in a common newspaper ; and that the 
death of a man so celebrated and beloved, and at the same 
time so closely connected with raanv who could well appre- 
ciate and suitably describe his excellencies, should be left 
to the brief and ordinary notice of the daily obituary. No 
event of the kind certainly ever excited more general sym- 
pathy ; and no individual, we are persuaded, will be longer 
or more affectionately remembered by all the classes of his 
fellow-citizens : and yet it is to these \ery circumstances 
that we must look for an explanation of the apparent, in 
lect with which his memory has been followed. 

We beg leave to assure our readers, that it is merely 
from an anxiety to io something to gratify this natural im- 






31tt THE AMERICAN [Lesson 171 

patience, that we presume to enter at all upon a subject, to 
which we are perfectly aware that we are incapable of doing 
justice. For, of Mr. PI ay fair's scientifick attainments — of 
his proficiency in those studies to which he was peculiarly 
devoted, we are but slenderly qualified to judge ; but, we be- 
lieve, we hazard nothing in saying that he was one of the 
most learned mathematicians of his age, and among the first, 
if not the very first, who introduced the beautiful discoveries 
of the later continental geometers to the knowledge of his 
countrymen, and gave their just and true place, in the scheme 
of European knowledge, to those important improvements 
by which the whole aspect of the abstract sciences has been 
renovated since the days of our illustrious Newton. 

If he did not signalize himself by any brilliant or original 
invention, he must at least be allowed to have been a most 
generous and intelligent judge of the achievements of others, 
as well as the most eloquent expounder of that great and 
magnificent system of knowledge which has been gradually 
evolved by the successive labours of so many gifted individ- 
uals. He possessed, indeed, in the highest degree, all the 
characteristicks both of a fine and a powerful understanding 
— at once penetrating and vigilant — but more distinguished, 
perhaps, for the caution and sureness of its march, than for 
the brilliancy or rapidity of its movements — nnd guided and 
adorned through all its progress by the most genuine enthu- 
siasm for all that is grand, and the justest taste for all that 
is beautiful, in the truth or the intellectual energy with 
which he was habitually conversant. 

Mr. Playfair was not merely a teacher ; and has fortunate- 
ly left behind him a variety of works, from which other gen- 
erations may be enabled to judge of some of those qualifica- 
tions which so powerfully recommended and endeared him 
to his contemporaries. It is, perhaps, to be regretted that 
so much of his time, and so large a proportion of his publi- 
cations, should have been devoted to the subjects of the In 
dian Astronomy, and the Huttonian Theory of the Earth. 
For though nothing can be more beautiful or instructive than 
his speculations on those curious topicks, it cannot be dis- 
sembled that their results are less conclusive and satisfacto- 
ry than might have been desired ; and that his doctrines, 
from the very nature of their subjects, are more questiona- 
ble than we believe they could possibly have been on any 
other topick in the whole circle of the sciences. 

A juster estimate of Mr. Playfair's talent, and a truer pic- 1 



Lesson 171.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 393 

ture of his genius and understanding, is to be found in his 
other writings ; in the papers, both biographical and scien- 
tific^, with which he has enriched the transactions of our 
ltoval Society; — his account of De Laplace, and other ar- 
tides which he is said to have contributed to the Edinburgh 
Review — the Outlines of his Lectures on Natural Philoso- 
phy — and, above all, his Introductory Discourse to the Sup- 
plement to the Encyclopaedia Britaanica, with the final cor- 
rection of which he was occupied up to the last moments 
that the progress of his disease allowed him to dedicate to 
anv intellectual exertion. 

■ 

With reference to these works, we do not think we are 
influenced by any national, or other partiality, when we say 
that he was certainly one of the best writers of his aae *. and 
even that we do not now recollect anv one of his contem- 
poraries who was so great a master of composition. There 
is a certain mellowness and richness about his stvle, which 
adorns, without disguising the weight and nervousness, which 
is its other great characteristic — a sedate gracefulness and 
manly simplicity in the more level passages — and a mild 
majesty and considerate enthusiasm where he rises above 
them, of which we scarcely know where to find any other 
example. 

There is great equability, too, and sustained force, in every 

Dart of his "Writings—-- Ho never osLauctc li!r*icoir in flcclioj 

and epigrams, nor languishes into tameness or insipidity; at 
first sight you would say, that plainness and good sense 
were the predominating qualities: but, by the by, this sim- 
plicity is enriched with the delicate on a vivid colours of a 
line imagination — the free and forcible touches of a power- 
ful intellect — and the lights and shades of an unerring, bar- 
monizmor taste. In comparing it with the styles of his most 
celebrated contemporaries, we would say that it was more 
purely and peculiarly a written style— and, therefore, re- 
jected those ornaments that more properly belong to oratory. 
It had no impetuosity, hurry, or vehemence — no bursts, 
or sudden turns, or abruptness, like that of Burke ; and 
though eminently smooth and melodious, it was not modu- 
lated to a uniform system of solemn declamation, like that 
©f Johnson, nor spread out in the richer and more volumi- 
nous elocution of Stewart ; nor still less broken into that 
patch-work of scholastick pedantry and conversational smart 
ness which has found its admirers in Gibbon. It is a style, 
in short, 0/ great freedom, force, and beauty ; but the delibe- 



304 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 171 

rate style of a man of thought and of learning ; and neither 
that of a wit, throwing out his extern pores with an affecta- 
tion of careless grace — nor of a lhetorician, thinking more 
of his manner than his matter, and determined to be admir- 
ed for his expression, whatever may be the fate of his sen- 
timents. 

But we need dwell no longer on qualities that may be 
gathered hereafter from the works he has left behind him. 
— They who lived with him mourn the most for those which 
will be traced in no such memorial ; and prize, far above 
these talents which gained him his high name in philosophy, 
that personal character which endeared him to his friends, 
and slied a grace and a dignity over all the society in which 
he moved. The same admirable taste which is conspicuous 
in his writings, or rather, the higher principles from which 
that taste was but an emanation, spread a similar charm 
over his whole life and conversation ; and gave to the most 
learned philosopher of his day, the manners and deportment 
of the most perfect gentleman. 

Nor was this in him the result merely of good sense and 
good temper, assisted by an early familiarity with good com- 
pany, and a consequent knowledge of his own place and that 
of all around him. His or>od breeding was of a hijrher de- 
scent ; and his powers of pleasing rested on something bet- 
ter than mere companionable qualities. With the greatest 
kindness and generosity 01 nature, he unitod th« mnst m»nly 
firmness, and the highest principles of honour ; and the most 
cheerful and social dispositions, with the gentlest and steadi- 
est affections. 

Towards women he had always the most ehivalrous feel- 
ings of regard and attention, and was, beyond almost all 
men, acceptable and agreeable in their society — though 
without the least levity or pretension unbecoming his age or 
condition. And such, indeed, was the fascination of the 
perfect simplicity and mildness of his manners, that the 
same tone or deportment seemed equally appropriate to all 
societies, and enabled him to delight the young and the gay 
with the same sort of conversation which instructed the 
learned and the grave. There never, indeed, was a man of 
learning and talent who appeared in society so perfectly free 
from every sort of pretension or notion of his own import- 
ance, or so little solicitous to distinguish himself, or so sin- 
cerely willing to give place to every one else. 

Even upon subjects which he had thoroughly stutited, ho 



Lesson 171.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 395 

was never in the least impatient to speak, and spoke at all 
times without any tone of authority ; while, so far from 
wishing to set off what he had to say by any brilliancy or 
emphasis of expression, it seemed generally as if he had 
tried to disguise the weight and originality of his thoughts 
under the plainest form of speech, and the most quiet and 
indifferent manner ; so that the profoundest remarks and 
subtlest observations were often dropped, not only without 
any solicitude that their value should be observed, but with- 
out any apparent consciousness that they possessed any. 

Though the most social of human beings, and the most 
disposed to encourage and sympathize with the gayety of 
others, his own spirits were in general rather cheerful than 
gay, or at least never rose to any turbulence or tumult of 
merriment : and while he would listen with the kindest in- 
dulgence to the more extravagant sallies of his younger 
friends, and prompt them by the heartiest approbation, his 
own satisfaction might generally be traced in a slow and 
temperate smile, gradually mantling over his benevolent and 
intelligent features, and lighting up the countenance of the 
sage with the expression of the mildest and most gentle 
philanthropy. 

It was wonderful, indeed, considering the measure of his 
own intellect, and the rigid and undeviating propriety of his 
own conduct, how tolerant he was of the errours and defects 
of other men. He was too indulgent, in truth, and favoura- 
ble to his friends— and made a kind and liberal allowance 
for the faults of all mankind — except only faults of baseness 
or of cruelty — against which he never failed to manifest the 
most open scorn and detestation. Independent, in short, of 
his high attainments, Mr. Playfair was one of the most 
amiable and estimable of men. Delightful in his manners 
— inflexible m his principles — and generous in his affections, 
he had all that could charm in society, or attach in private i 
and while his friends enjoyed the free and unstudied conver- 
sation of an easy and intelligent associate, they had at all 
times the proud and inward assurance that he was a being 
upon whose perfect honour and generosity they might rely 
with the most implicit confidence, in life and in death, — and 
of whom it was equally impossible, that, under any circum- 
stances, he should ever perform a mean, a selfish, or a ques- 
tionable action, as that his body should cease to gravitate, or 
his soul to live ! 

If we do not greatly deceive ourselves, there is nothing 



396 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 1T2. 

here of exaggeration or private feeling — and nothing with 
which an indifferent and honest chronicler would not concur. 
Nor is it altogether idle to have dwelt so long on the per- 
sonal character of this distinguished individual ; for we are 
ourselves persuaded, that this personal character has almost 
done as much for the cause of science and philosophy among 
us, as the great talents and attainments with which it was 
combined — and has contributed, in a very eminent degree, 
to give to the better society in which he moved, that tone 
of intelligence and liberality by which it is honourably dis- 
tinguished. 

It is not a little advantageous to philosophy that it is in 
fashion — and it is still more advantageous, perhaps, to the 
society which is led to confer on it this apparently trivial 
distinction. It is a great jthing for the country at large — for 
its happiness, its prosperity, and its renown — that the upper 
and influencing part of its population should be made famil- 
iar, even in its untasked and social hours, with sound and 
liberal information, and be taught to respect those who have 
distinguished themselves by intellectual attainments. Nor 
is it, after all, a slight or despicable reward for a man of 
genius to be received with honour in the highest and most 
elegant society around him, and to receive in his living per- 
son that homage and applause which is too often reserved 
for his memory. 



LESSON CLXXII. 

The Winter Night. — Burns. 

Now Phoebe, in her midnight reign, 
Dark muffled, viewed the dreary plain ; 
While crowding thoughts, a pensive train, 

Rose in my soul, 
When on my ear this plaintive strain 

Slow, solemn, stole. 

« Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust ! 
And freeze, thou bitter, biting frost ! 
Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows ! 
Not all your rage, as now united, shows 
More hard unkindness, unrelenting, 
Vengeful malice, unrepenting, 
Than heaven-illumined man on brother man bestows! 



Lesson 172.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 397 

See stern Oppression's iron grip, 

Or mad Ambition's gory hand, 
Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip, 

Wo, Want, and Murder o'er a land! 

Even in the peaceful rural vale, 
Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale, 

How pampered Luxury, — Flattery by her side, 
The parasite empoisoning her ear, 
With all the servile wretches in the rear, 

Looks o'er proud property, extended wide, 
And eyes the simple rustick hind, 
Whose toil upholds the glittering show, 
A creature of another kind, 
Some coarser substance, unrefined, 

Placed for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below* 

Where, where is Love's fond, tender throe, 
With lordly Honour's lofty brow, 

The powers you proudly own ? 
Is there, beneath Love's noble name, 
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim, 

To bless himself alone ? 

# # * * * 

O ye ! who, sunk in beds of down, 
Feel not a want but what yourselves create, 
Think, for a moment on his wretched fate 

Whom friends and fortune quite disown ! 
Ill satisfied keen nature's clamorous call, 

Stretched on his straw he lays himself to sleep, 
While, through the ragged roof and chinky wall, 

Chill, o'er his slumbers, piles the drifty heap : — 

Think on the dungeon's grim confine, 

Where guilt and poor misfortune pine ! 

Guilt, erring man, relenting view ! 

But shall thy legal rage pursue 

The wretch, already crushed low 

By cruel fortune's undeserved blow ? 
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress, 
A brother to relieve how exquisite the bliss !" 

I heard no more ; for Chanticleer 

Shook off the powdery snow, 
And hailed the morning with a cheer, 

A cottage-rousing crow. 
34 



393 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 173. 

But deep this truth impressed my mind — 

Through all his works abroad, 
The heart benevolent and kind 

The most resembles God. 



LESSON CLXXIII. 

The American Eagle. — Neal. 



v t> 



There's a fierce gray Bird, with a bending beak, 
With an angry eye, and a startling shriek, 
That nurses her brood where the cliff-flowers blow, 
On the precipice-top, in perpetual snow ; 
That sits where the air is shrill and bleak, 
On the splintered point of a shivered peak, 
Bald-headed and stripped, — like a vulture torn 
In wind and strife — her feathers worn, 
And ruffled and stained, while loose and bright 

Round her serpent-neck, that is writhing and bare, 

Is a crimson collar of gleaming hair, 
Like the crest of a warriour, thinned in fight, 

And shorn, and bristling : — See her ! where 

She sits, in the alow of the sun-bright air, 
With wing half poised, and talons bleeding, 
And kindling eye, as if her prey 
Had suddenly been snatched away, 
While she was tearing it and feeding. — 
Above the dark torrent, above the bright stream 
The voice may be heard 
Of the thunderer's bird 
Calling out to her god in a clear, wild scream, 
As she mounts to his throne, and unfolds in his beam ; 
While her young are laid out in his rich, red blaze, 
And their winglets are fledged in his hottest rays. 

Proud Bird of the cliff! where the barren yew springs, 
Where the sunshine stays, and the wind-harp sings, 
She sits, unapproachable, pluming her wings. — 
She screams ! — She's away ! — over hill top and flood, 
Over valley and rock, over mountain and wood, 
That Bird is abroad in the van of her brood ! 

'Tis the Bird of our banner, the free bird that braves 
When the battle is there, all the wrath of the waves: 



Usson 174.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 399 

That dips her pinions in the sun's first gush ; 

Drinks his meridian blaze, his farewell flush ; 

Sits amid stirring stars, and bends her beak, 

Like the slipped falcon, when her piercing shriek 

Tells that she stoops upon her cleaving wing, 

To drink at some new victim's clear, red spring. 

That monarch Bird ! she slumbers in the ni^ht 

Upon the lofty air-peak's utmost height ; 

Or sleeps upon the wing, amid the ray 

Of steady, cloudless, everlasting day : — 

Rides with the Thunderer in his blazing march, 

And bears his lightnings o'er yon boundless arch ; 

Soars wheeling through the storm, and screams away, 

Where the young pinions of the morning play ; 

Broods with her arrows in the hurricane ; 

Bears her green laurel o'er the starry plain, 

And sails around the skies, and o'er the rolling deeps, 

With still unwearied wing, and eye that never sleeps. 



LESSON CLXXIV. 

Reply of Rob Roy Mac Gregor to Mr, Osbaldistone.-IZoB Roy. 

Yoit speak like a boy — like a boy, who thinks the old 
gnarled oak can be twisted as easily as the young sapling. 
Can I forget that 1 have been branded as an outlaw, stig- 
matized as a traitor, a nrice set on my head as if I had been 
a wolf, my family treated as me d^in and cubs of the hill- 
fox, whom all may torment, vilify, degrade, and insult ; — 
the very name which came to me from a long and noble 
line of martial ancestors, denounced, as if it were a spell to 
conjure up the devil with ?■ — 

And they shall find that the name they have dared to 
proscribe — that the name of Mac Gregor is, a spell to raise 
the wild devil withal. They shall hear of my vengeance, 
that would scorn to listen to the story of my wrongs. — The 
miserable Highland drover, bankrupt, barefooted, stripped 
of all, dishonoured and hunted down, because the avarice of 
others grasped at more than that poor all could pay, shall 
burst on them in an awful change. They that scoffed at the 
grovelling worm, and trod upon him, may cry and howl 
when they see the stoop of the flying and fiery-mouthed 
dragon. But why do T speak of all this ? — only ve may 



400 THE AMERICAN [Lesion 174. 

opine it frets my patience to be hunted like an otter, or a 
seal, or a salmon upon the shallows, and that by my very 
friends and neighbours : and to have as many sword-cuts 
made, and pistols flashed at me, as I had this day in the 
ford of Avondow, would try a saint's temper, much more a 
Highlander's, who are not famous for that good gift, as you 
may have heard. — But one thing bides with me of what 
Nicol said. I'm vexed for the bairns — I'm vexed when I 
think of Robert and Hamish living their father's life— But 
let us say no more of this. — * * _ * * 

You must think hardly of us — and it is not natural that it 
should be otherwise. But remember, at least, we have not 
been unprovoked : — we are a rude and an ignorant, and it 
may be, a violent and passionate, but we are not a cruel 
people. — The land might be at peace and in law for us, did 
they allow us to enjoy the blessings of peaceful law. But 
we have been a persecuted people ; and if persecution 
maketh wise men mad, what must it do to men like us, 
living as our fathers did a thousand years since, and pos- 
sessing scarce more lights than they did 1 Can we view 
their bloody edicts against us— their hanging, heading, hound- 
ing, and hunting down an ancient and honourable name — as 
deserving better treatment than that which enemies give to 
enemies 1 — Here I stand — have been in twenty frays, and 
never hurt man but when I was in hot blood ! — and yet, 
they would betray me and hang me, like a masterless dog", 
at the gate of any great man that has an ill will at me. 

You are a kind-hearted and an honourable youth, and 

understand, doubtless, that which is due to the feelings of a 

man of honour. — But the heather that I have trod upon 

when living must bloom over me when I am dead — my 

heart would sink, and my arm would shrink and wither, like 

fern in the frost, were I to lose sight of my native hills t 

nor has the world a scene tnat would console me for the 

loss of the rocks and cairns, wild as they are, that you see 

around us. And Helen — what would become of her, were 

I to leave her, the subject of new insult and atrocity ? — or 

how could she bear to be removed from these scenes, 

where the remembrance of her wrongs is aye sweetened by 

the recollection of her revenge ? I was once so hard put 

at by my great enemy, as I may well call him, that I was 

forced e'en to give way to the tide, and removed myself, 

and my people, and my family from our dwellings in our 

native land, and to withdraw for a time into Mac Cullum- 



Lesson Mo.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 401 

uiore's country, — and Helen made a lament on our depart- 
ure, as well as Mac Rimmon himself could have framed it; 
and so piteously sad and wosome, that our hearts almost 
brake as we listened to her : — it was like the wailing of one 
for the mother that bore him — and I would not have the 
same touch of the heart-break again, .... no, not to have 
all the lands that were ever owned by Mac Gregor. 



LESSON CLXXV. 

Prophecy of the destruction of Babylon, and the return of tlxt 
Jews from their captivity in that city, 

Isaiah xiii. 1 — xiv. 27. — Lowth's Translation. 

Chap. xiii. 1 THE oracle concerning babylon which 

WAS REVEALED TO ISAIAH, THE SON OF AMOTS. 

2 Upon a loftv mountain erect the standard ; 
Exalt the voice ; beckon with the hand ; 
That thev may enter the grates of princes. 

3 I have given a charge to my enrolled warriours ; 

I have even called my strong ones to execute my wrath ; 
Those that exult in my irreatness. 

4 A sound of a multitude in the mountains, as of a great 

people ; 
A sound of the tumult of kingdoms, of nations gathered 

together ! 
Jehovah, God of Hosts, mustereth the host for the battle, 

5 They come from a distant land, from the end of the 

heavens ; 
Jehovah, and the instruments of his wrath, to destroy 
the whole land. 

6 Howl ye, for the day of Jehovah is at hand : 

As a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. 

7 Therefore shall ail hands be slackened; 

And every heart of mortal shall melt ; and they shai/ 
be terrified : 
S Torments and pangs shall seize them ; 

# ^ ^ TT * 

They shall look one upon another with astonishment : 
Their countenances shall be like flames of fire. 
9 Behold, the day of Jehovah eometh, inexorable ; 
34* 






402 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 175 

Even indignation, and burning wrath: 

To make the land a desolation ; 

And her sinners he shall destroy from ont of her. 

10 Yea, the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, 
Shall not send forth their light : 

The sun is darkened at his going forth, 

And the moon shall not cause her Jight to shine. 

1 1 And I will visit the world for its evil, 
And the wicked for their iniquity : 

And I will put an end to the arrogance of the proud ; 
And I will bring down the haughtiness of the terrible. 
V/ I will make a mortal more precious than fine gold ; 
¥ea a man, than the rich ore of Ophir, 

13 Wherefore I will make the heavens tremble : 
And the earth shall be shaken out of her place : 
In the indignation of Jehovah God of Hosts ; 
And in the day of his burning anger. 

14 And the remnant shall be as a roe chased ; 

And as sheep, when there is none to gather them to- 
gether ; 
They shall look, every one towards his own people ; 
And they shall flee, every one to his own land. 

15 Every one, that is overtaken, shall be thrust through : 

And all that are collected in a body shall fall by th« 

sword. 

* * * # * 

17 Behold, I raise up against them the Medes ; 
Who shall hold silver of no account ; 

And as for gold, they shall not delight in it. 

18 Their bows shall dash the young men ; 

Their eye shall have no pity even on the children. 

19 And Babylon shall become — she that was the beauty of 

kingdoms, 
The glory of the pride of the Chaldeans — 
As the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah by the hand 

of God. 

20 It shall not be inhabited for ever ; 

Nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation : 
Neither shall the Arabian pitch his tent there : 
Neither shall the shepherds make their folds there. 

21 But there shall the wild beasts of the deserts lodge , 
And howling monsters shall fill their houses : 

And there shall the daughters of the ostrich dwell ; 
And there shall the satyrs hold their revels. 



Lesson 175.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 403 

22 And wolves shall howl to one another in their palaces; 

And dragons in their voluptuous pavilions. 

And lier time is near to come ; 

And her days shall not be prolonged. 
Chap. xiv. 1 For Jehovah will have compassion on Jacob ; 

And will yet choose Israel. 

And he shall give them rest upon their own land : 

And the stranger shall be joined unto them, 

And shall cleave unto the house of Jacob. 

2 And the nations shall take them, and bring them into 

their own place ; 
And the house of Israel shall possess them in the land 

of Jehovah, 
As servants, and as handmaids : 
And they shall take them captive, whose captives the/ 

were ; 
And they shall rule ever their oppressors. 

3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah 
shall give thee rest from thine affliction, and from thy dis- 

4 quiet, and from the hard servitude, which was laid upon 
thee : and thou shalt pronounce this parable upon the 
king of Babylon ; and shalt say : 

HOW hath the oppressor ceased ! the exactress of 
gold ceased ! 

5 Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scep- 

tre of the rulers. 

6 He that smote the peoples in wrath, with a stroke unre- 

mitted : 
He that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and 
none hindereth. 

7 The whole earth is at rest, is quiet ; they burst forth 

into a joyful shout : 

8 Even the fir-trees rejoice over thee, the cedars of Liba- 

nus : 
Since thou art fallen, no feller hath come up against us. 

9 Ha-des* from beneath is moved because of thee, to 

meet thee at thy coming : 

* Hades is the Greek, as Infernus is the Latin, and Hell the Eng- 
lish word, by which the respective authors of the Greek, Latin, 
and English versions of the Holy Scriptures translate the Hebrew 
Sheol ; a word by which the sacred writers commonly meant, the 
state of departed spirits, or the place of their abode. This, according 
to the opinions of the ancients, to whom life and immortality had 
not been brought to light by the gospel of Jesus Christ, was a vast 
subterranean kingdom, immensely deep, and totally dark and silent : 



404 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 175. 

He rouseth for thee the mighty dead, all the great 

chiefs of the earth ; 
He maketh to rise up from their thrones all the kings 

of the nations. 

10 All of them shall accost thee, and shall say unto thee : 
Art thou, even thou too, hecome weak as we ? art thou 

made like unto us ? 

11 Is then thy pride brought down to the grave; the sound 

of thy sprightly instruments ? 
Is the vermin become thy couch, and the earth-worm 
thy covering 1 

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of 

the morning 1 ! 
Art cut down to the earth, thou that didst subdue the 
nations ! 

13 Yet thou didst say in thy heart : I will ascend the 

heavens ; 
Above the stars of God I will exalt my throne ; 
And I will sit upon the mount of the divine presence, on 

the sides of the north : 

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds : I will be 

like the Most High. 

15 But thou shalt be brought clown to the grave, to the 

sides of the pit. 

16 Those that see thee shall look attentively at thee; they 

shall well consider thee : 
Is this the man, that made the earth to tremble ; that 

shook the kingdoms 1 

~ 

17 That made the world like a desert; that destroyed the 

cities ? 
That never dismissed his captives to their own home ? 

" about which," says Dr. Campbell, " the most prying eye and lis- 
tening ear could gain no information;" a mansion of rest into which 
the good and the evil descended alike, at their death ; — the former, 
indeed, in peace and a good old age, crowned with virtue and hon- 
our ) — and the latter hurried thither by their vices before their time ; 
— a state in which all continued a conscious but inactive existence ; 
and where each retained something of the rank and station which he 
had held in life. Hence, the departed spirits of other kings are rep- 
resented, in this verse, as rising up from their shadowy thrones, to 
salute with bitter exultations, the king of Babylon, who had now been 
brought down as low as themselves. 

It will be observed that, here, the prophet, in the bold metaphor of 
Oriental poetry, personifies Hades, in giving to this region of sil anry 
and darkness, the attributes of a stern Ruler over the abode and the 
spirits of the dead. 






Lesson 175.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 40T> 

18 All the kings of the nations, all of them, 

Lie down in glory, each in his own sepulchre : 

19 But thou art cast out of the grave, as the tree abomi- 

nated ;* 
Clothed with the slain, with the pierced by the sword, 
With them that go down to the stones of the pit ; as a 
* trodden carcass. 

20 Thou shalt not be joined unto them in burial ; 
Because thou hast destroyed thy country, thou hast slain 

thy people. 
The seed of evil doers shall never be renowned. 

21 Prepare ye slaughter for his children, for the iniquity of 

their fathers ; 
Lest they rise, and possess the earth ; and fill the face of 
the world with cities. 

22 For I will arise against them, saith Jehovah God of Hosts : 
And I will cut off from Babylon the name, and the rem- 
nant ; 

And the son, and the son's son, saith Jehovah. 

23 And I will make it an inheritance for the porcupine, and 

pools of water ; 
And I will plunge it in the miry gulf of destruction, 
saith Jehovah God of Hosts. 

24 Jehovah God of Hosts hath sworn, saying : 
Surely as I have devised, so shall it be ; 

And as I have purposed, that thing shall stand : 

25 To crush the Assyrian in my land, and to trample him 

on my mountains. 
Then shall his yoke depart from off them ; 
And his burthen shall be removed from off their shoulder. 

26 This is the decree, which is determined on the whole 

earth ; 
And this is the hand, which is stretched out over all the 
nations : 

27 For Jehovah God of Hosts hath decreed ; and who shall 

disannul it? 
And it is his hand, that is stretched out ; and who shall 
turn it back 1 



* That is, as an abomination and detestation ; such as the tree is, on 
which a malefactor has been hanged. " It is written, saith SSahit Paul, 
Gala. iii. 13. cursed is every man thLt hangeth on a tree :" from Deut . 
xxi, 23. The Jews therefore held also as accursed and polluted the tree 
itself on which a malefactor had been executed, or on which he had beeu 
hanged after having been put to death by stoning. Lowtk. 



4(M) THE AMERICAN [Lesson 176. 

LESSON CLXXVI. 

LochieFs Warning. — Campbell 

Lochiel was the chief of the warlike clan of the Camerons ; and one 
of the most prominent, in respect to power and influence, among 
the Highland chieftains. He attached himself to the cause of 
Charles Stuart, called the Pietender, from the claim that he made to 
the British throne. In the following piece, Lochiel is supposed to be 
marching, with the warriours of his clan, to join the standard which 
Charles had raised among the Highlands in his invasion of Scotland 
in 1745. On his way he is met by a Seer or Wizard, who. having, 
according to the popular superstition, the gift of second sight, or 
prophecy, forewarns him of the disastrous event of the Pretender's 
enterprise, and exhorts him to return home, and not be involved in 
the certain destruction that awaited the cause and the followers of 
Charles, and which afterwards fell upon them in the battle of Cuilo- 
den. 

Seer, Lochiel* 

Seer. Lochiel! Lochiel,- beware of the day 
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array ! 
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight, 
And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight : 
They rally, they bleed* for their kingdom and crown ; 
Wo, wo to the riders that trample them down ! 
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain, 
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain. 
X>ut hark ! through th^ fast-flash ing lightning of war, 
What steed to the desert flies frantick and far 1 
.'Tis thine, oh Glenullin ! whose bride shall await, 
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate. 
A steed comes at morning : no rider is there ; 
J3ut its bridle is red with the sign of despair. 
Weep, Albin !* to death and captivity led ! 
Oh weep ! but thy tears cannot number the dead : 
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave, 
Culloden ! that reeks with the blood of the brave. 

Lochiel. Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer t 
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear, 
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight, 
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright. 

Seer, Ha ! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, mv vision to scorn 1 
Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn ! 

* The Gaelic appellation of Scotland, more particularly the High 
lands. 



Lessen 176.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 407 

Say, rushed the bold eagle exultingly forth, 
From his home, in the dark rolling clouds of the north ! 
Lo ! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode 
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad ; 
But down let him stoop from his havock on high ! 
Ah ! home let him speed — for the spoiler is nigh. 
Why flames the far summit ? Why shoot to the blast 
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast ? 
'Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven 
From his eyrie, that beacons the darkness of heaven- 
Oh, crested Lochiel ! the peerless in might, 
W^hose banners arise on the battlements' height, 
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn ; 
Return to thy dwelling ! all lonely return ! 
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood. 
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood. 

Lochiel, False Wizard, avaunt ! I have marshalled my clan s 
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one ! 
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath, 
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death. 
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock ! 
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock ! 
But wo to his kindred, and wo to his cause, 
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws ; 
When her bonnetted chieftains to victory crowd, 
Clan-Ranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud ; 
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array — : — 

Seer. Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day ! 

For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal, 

But man cannot cover what God would reveal : 

'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore, 

And coining events cast their shadows before. 

I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring 

With the blood-hounds, that bark for thy fugitive king. 

Lo ! anointed by heaven with the vials of wrath, 

Behold, where he flies on his desolate path! 

Now, in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight :* 

Rise i rise ! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight ! 

'Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors ; 

Culloden is lost, and my country deplores ; 

But where is the iron-bound prisoner ? Where ? 

For the red eye of battle is shut in despair. 

■ Alluding to the perilous escape of Charles from the west of Scot- 
land. 



408 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 177. 

Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn, 

Like a limb from his country cast bleeding' and tornl 

Ah no ! for a darker departure is near ; 

The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier ; 

His death-bell is tolling; oh! mercy, dispel 

Von sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell ! 

Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs, 

And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims. 

Accursed be the faggots, that blaze at his feet, 

Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat, 

With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale 

Lochitl. Down, soothless insulter ! I trust not the tale t 

Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore, 

Like ocean-weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore, 

Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains, 

While the kindling of life in his bosom remains, 

Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low, 

With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe I 

And leaving in battle no blot on his name, 

Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame. 



LESSON CLXXVII. 

The Poet and the Alchyrnist. — New Monthly Magazine* 

Authors of modern date are wealthy fellows ;— 

'Tis but to snip his locks they follow 

Now the golden-haired Apollo. — 
Invoking Plutus to puff up the bellows 
Of inspiration, they distil 

The rhymes and novels which cajole lis, 
Not from the Heliconian rill, 

But from the waters of Pactolus. 

Before this golden age of writers, 

A Grub-street Garreteer existed, 
One of the regular inditers 

Of odes and poems to be twisted 
Into encomiastick verses, 
For patrons who have heavy purses.— 
Besides the Bellman's rhymes, he had 
Others to let, both gay and sad, 

A \l ticketed from A to Izzard ; 
An i, living by his wits, I need not add, 

The rogue was lean as any lizard* 



Lesson 177.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 409 

Like a ropemaker's were his ways ; 
For still one line upon another 
He spun, and like his hempen brother, 

Kept going backwards all his days. 

Hard by his attick lived a Chymist, 

Or Alchymist, who had a mighty 

Faith in the Elixir Vitae ; 
And though unflattered by the dimmest 
Glimpse of success, he still kept groping 

And grubbing in his dark vocation, 
Stupidly hoping, 
To find the art of changing metals, 
And guineas coin from pans and kettles, 

By mystery of transmutation. 

Our starving Poet took occasion 

To seek this conjuror's abode, 

Not with encomiastick ode, 
Or laudatory dedication, 
But with an offer to impart, 
For twenty pounds, the secret art, 
Which should procure without the pain 

Of metals, chymistry, and fire, 
What he so long had sought in vain, 

And gratify his heart's desire. 

The money paid, our bard was hurried 

To the philosopher's sanctorum, 
Who, somewhat sublimized and flurried, 

Out of his chymical decorum, 
Crowed, capered, giggled, seemed to spurn his 
Crucibles, retort, and furnace, 
And cried as he secured the door, 

And carefully put to the shutter, 
" Now, now, the secret I implore ; 

Out with it — speak — discover — utter ! H 

With grave and solemn look, the poet 
Cried — " List — O, list ! for thus I show it :— 
Let this plain truth those in grates strike, 

Who still, though bless'd, new blessings crave, 
That we may all have what we like, 

Simplv by liking wkr*t we have." 
"35 



410 THE AMERICAN {Lesson 178 

LESSON CLXXVIII. 

Extract from a dialogue between a Satirich Poet and his 

Friend. — Pope. 

Friend. 'Tis all a libel, Paxton, Sir, will say : — 

Poet. Not yet, my friend ! to-morrow, faith, it may; 
And for that very cause I print to-day. 
How should I fret to mangle every line, 
In reverence to the sins of thirty-nine ! 
Vice, with such giant strides comes on amain, 
Invention strives to be before in vain ; 
Feign what I will, and paint it e'er so strong, 
Some rising genius sins up to my song. 

F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash ; 
Even Guthry saves half Newgate by a dash. 
Spare then the person, and expose the vice. 

P. How ! not condemn the sharper, but the dice ! 
Come on then, Satire ! general, unconfined, 
Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. 
Ye statesmen, priests, of one religion all ! 
Ye tradesmen, vile, in army, court, or hall ! 
Ye reverend atheists ! — F. Scandal ! name them, — who 1 

P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do. 
Who starved a sister, — who forswore a debt 
I never named ; the town's inquiring yet. 
The poisoning dame — F. You mean — P. I don't — F. You do. 

P. See, now, I keep the secret, and not you ! 
The bribing statesman — F. Hold ! too high you go. 

P. The bribed elector — F. There you stoop too low. 

JP. I fain would please you if I knew with what ; 
Tell me, which knave is lawful game, which not 1 
Must great offenders, once escaped the crown, 
Like royal harts, be never more run down 1 
Admit your law to spare the knight requires, 
As beasts of nature may we hunt the squires ? 
Suppose I censure — you know what I mean — 
To save a bishop, may I name a dean ? 

F. A dean, Sir ? no ; his fortune is not made, 
You hurt a man that's rising in the trade. 

P. If not the tradesman who set up to-day, 
Much less the prentice who to-morrow may. 
Down, down, proud Satire ! though a realm be spoiled, 
Arraign no mightier thief than wretched Wild. 



Lesson 178.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 411 

Or, if a court, or country's made a job, 
Go, drench a pickpocket, and join the mob. 

But, Sir, I beg you, (for the love of Vice !) 
The matter's weighty, pray consider twice ; 
Have you less pity for the needy cheat, 
The poor and friendless villain, than the great 1 
Alas ! the small discredit of a bribe 
Scarce hurts the lawyer, but undoes the scribe. 
Then better, sure, it charity becomes 
To tax directors, who (thank God) have plums ; 
Still better ministers ; or, if the thing 
May pinch even there — why lay it on a king. 

F. Stop ! Stop ! — P. Must Satire, then, nor rise, nor fallt 
Speak out, and bid me blame no rogues at all. 

F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow. 

P. Strike ? — Why the man was hanged ten years ago. 
Who now that obsolete example fears ] 
Even Peter trembles only for his ears. 

F. What, always Peter 1 Peter thinks you mad ;— 
You make men desperate, if they once are bad. — 
But why so few commended ? — P. Not so fierce 
You find the virtue, and I'll find the verse. 
But random praise — the task can ne'er be done ; 
Each mother asks it for her booby son, 
Each widow asks it for the best of men, 
For him she weeps, for him she weds again. 
Praise cannot stoop, like Satire, to the ground ; 
.The number may be hanged, but not be crowned. 
No power the Muse's friendship can command, 
No power, when Virtue claims it, can withstand. 
— What are you thinking ? — F. Faith, the thought's no sin, 
I think your friends are out, and would be in. 

jP. If merely to come in, Sir, they go out, 
The way they take is strangely round about. 

JF. They, too, may be corrupted, you'll allow ? 

P. I only call those knaves who are so now. 
Is that too little 1 — Come, then, I'll comply— 
Spirit of Arnal ! aid me while I lie. 
Cobham's a coward, Polwarth is a slave, 
And Lyttleton, a dark, designing knave. 
St. John has ever been a mighty fool — 
But, let me add, Sir Robert's mighty dull, 
Has never made a friend in private life, 
And was, besides, a tyrant to his wife. — 



412 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 179. 

Ask you what provocation I have had ? — 
The strong antipathy of good to bad. 
When Truth or Virtue an affront endures, 
The affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours: 
Mine, as a foe professed to false pretence, 
Who thinks a coxcomb's honour like his sense ; 
Mine, as a friend to every worthy mind ; 
And mine as man who feel for all mankind. 

JF. You're strangely proud — P. So proud, I am no slave * 
So impudent, I own myself no knave : 
So odd, my country's ruin makes me grave. 
Yes, I am proud : I must be proud, to see 
Men not afraid of God, afraid of me : 
Safe from the bar, the pulpit, and the throne, 
Yet touched, and shamed by ridicule alone. 
0, sacred weapon ! left for Truth's defence, 
Sole dread of folly, vice, and insolence ! 
Reverent I touch thee ! but with honest zeal ; 
To rous«i the watchmen of the publick weal, 
To Virtue's work provoke the tardy hall, 
And goad the preTate slumbering in his stall. 



LESSON CLXXIX. 

Dialogue between Prince Edward and his Keeper. — Miss Bailu& 

Ed. What brings thee now 1 it surely cannot be 
The time of food : my prison hours are wont 
To fly more heavily. 

Keep. It is not food : I bring wherewirh, my lord, 
To stop a rent in these old walls, that oft 
Hath grieved me, when I've thought of you o' nights ; 
Through it the cold wind visits you. 

Ed. And let it enter ! it shall not be stopped. 
Who visits me besides the winds of heaven ? 
Who mourns with me but the sad-sighing wind t 
Who bringeth to mine ear the mimicked tones 
Of voices once beloved and sounds long past, 
But the light-winged and many voiced wind ? 
Who fans the prisoner's lean and fevered cheek 
As kindly as the monarch's wreathed brows, 
But the free piteous wind 1 
1 will not have it stopped. 



Lesson 180.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 413 

Keep. My lord, the winter now creeps on apace . 
Hoar frost this morning on our sheltered fields 
Lay thick, and glanced to the up-risen sun, 
Which scarce had power to melt it. 

Ed. Glanced to the up-risen sun ! Ay, such fair morns, 
When every bush doth put its glory on, 
Like a gemmed bride ! your rusticks now 
And early hinds, will set their clouted feet 
Through silver webs, so bright and finely wrought 
As royal dames ne'er fashioned, yet plod on 
Their careless way, unheeding. 
Alas, how many glorious things there be 
To look upon ! Wear not the forests, now. 
Their latest coat of richly varied dyes ? 

Keep. Yes, good my lord, the cold chill year advances. 
Therefore I pray you, let me close that wall. 

Ed. I tell thee no, man ; if the north air bites, 
Bring me a cloak. Where is thy dog to-day ? 

Keep. Indeed I wonder that he came not with me 
As he is wont. 

Ed. Bring him, I pray thee, when thou comest again? 
He wags his tail and looks up to my face 
With the assured kindness of one 
Who has not injured me. 



LESSON CLXXX. 

A Summer Evening Meditation. — Mrs. Barbauld. 

*Tis past ! The sultry tyrant of the south 
Has spent his short-lived rage ; more grateful hours 
Move silent on ; the skies no more repel 
The dazzled sight, but with mild maiden beams 
Of tempered lustre, court the cherished eye 
To wander o'er their sphere ; where, hung aloft, 
Dian's bright crescent, like a silver bow, 
New strung in heaven, lifts high its beamy horns, 
Impatient for the night, and seems to push 
Her brother down the sky. Fair Venus shines 
Even in the eye of day ; with sweetest beam 
Propitious shines, and shakes a trembling flood 
Of softened radiance from her dewy locks. 
The shadows spread apace ; while meek-eyed Eve, 
Her cheek yet warm with blushes, slow retires 

35 * 



414 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 180 

Through the Hesperian gardens of the west, 

And shuts the gates of day. 'Tis now the hour 

When Contemplation, from her sunless haunts, 

The cool damp grotto, or the lonely depth 

Of unpierced woods, where wrapt in solid shade 

She mused away the gaudy hours of noon, 

And fed on thoughts unripened by the sun, 

Moves forward ; and with radiant finger points 

To yon blue concave swelled by breath divine, 

Where, one by one, the living eyes of heaven 

Awake, quick kindling o'er the face of ether 

One boundless blaze ; ten thousand trembling fires, 

And dancing lustres, where the unsteady eye, 

Restless and dazzled, wanders unconfined 

O'er all this field of glories ; spacious field, 

And worthy of the Master ; he, whose hand 

Witii hieroglyphicks older than the Nile 

Inscribed the mystick tablet ; hung on high 

To publick gaze, and said, Adore, O man ! 

The finger of thy God ! 

How deep the silence, yet how loud the praise! 

But are they silent all 1 or is there not 

A tongue in every star* that talks with man, 

And wooes him to be wise 1 or wooes in vain : 

This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, 

And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. 

At this still hour, the self-collected soul 

Turns inward, and beholds a stranger there 

Of high descent, and more than mortal rank ; 

An embryo God ; a spark of fire divine, 

Which must burn on for ages, when the sun 

(Fair transitory creature of a day !) # « 

Has closed his golden eye, and, wrapt in shades, 

Forgets his wonted journey through the east. 

Seized in thought, 
On fancy's wild and roving wing I sail, 
From the green borders of the peopled earth, 
And the pale moon, her duteous fair attendant ; 
From solitary Mars ; from the vast orb 
Of Jupiter, whose huge gigantick bulk 
Dances in ether like the lightest leaf; * 
To the dim verge the suburbs of the system, 
Where cheerless Saturn 'midst his watery moons 
Girt with a lucid zone, in gloc my pomp, 



Lesson 181.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 415 

Sits like an exiled monarch : fearless thence 

I launch into the trackless deeps of space, 

Where, burning round, ten thousand suns appear, 

Of elder beam, which ask no leave to shine, 

Of our terrestrial star, nor borrow light 

From the proud regent of our scanty day — 

Sons of the morning, first-born of creation, 

And only less than He who marks their track, 

And guides their fiery wheels. 

But O thou mighty mind ! whose powerful word 

Said, Thus let all things be, and thus they were, 

Where shall I seek thy presence 1 how, unblamed, 

Invoke thy dread perfection 1 

Have the broad eye-lids of the morn beheld thee ? 

Or does the beamy shoulder of Orion 

Support thy throne 1 Oh ! look with pity down 

On erring, guilty man ; not in thy names 

Of terrour clad ; not with those thunders armed 

That conscious Sinai felt, when fear appalled 

The scattered tribes ; thou hast a gentler voice, 

That whispers comfort to the swelling heart, 

Abashed, yet longing to behold her Maker. 

But now my soul, unused to stretch her powers 

In flight so daring, drops her weary wing, 

And seeks again the known accustomed spot, 

Drest up with sun, and shade, and lawns, and streams* 

A mansion fair and spacious for its guest, 

And all replete with wonders. Let me here, 

Content and grateful wait the appointed time, 

And ripen for the skies : the hour will come 

When all these splendours bursting on my sight 

Shall stand unveiled, and to my ravished sense 

Unlock the glories of the world unknown. 



LESSON CLXXXI. 

The blind Preacher : Extract from a Letter of the British 

Spy. — Wirt. 

Richmond, October 10, 1803. 

1 have been, my dear S ...... ., on an excursion through 

the counties which lie along the eastern side of the Blue 



416 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 181 

Ridge. A general description of that country and its in- 
habitants may form the subject of a future letter. For the 
piesent, I must entertain you with an account of a most sin- 
gular and interesting adventure, which I met with, in the 
course of the tour. 

It was one Sunday, as I travelled through the county of 
Orange, that my eye was caught by a cluster of horses tied 
near a ruinous, old, wooden house, in the forest, not far 
from the road side. Having frequently seen such objects 
before, in travelling through these states, I had no difficulty 
in understanding that this was a place of religious worship. 

Devotion alone should have stopped me, to join in the 
duties of the congregation ; but I must confess, that curiosi- 
ty, to hear the preacher of such a wilderness, was not the 
least of my motives. On entering, I was struck with his 
preternatural appearance. He was a tall and very spare 
old man ; his head, which was covered with a white linen 
cap, his shrivelled hands, and his voice, were all shaking 
under the influence of a palsy ; and a few moments ascer- 
tained to me that he was perfectly blind. 

The first emotions which touched my breast, were those 
of mingled pity and veneration. But how soon were all my 
feelings changed ! The lips of Plato were never more 
worthy of a prognostick swarm of bees, than were the lip* 
of this holy man ! It was a day of the administration of the 
sacrament ; and his subject, of course, was the passion of 
our Saviour. I had heard the subject handled a thousand 
times : I had thought it exhausted long ago. Little did I 
suppose, that in the wild woods of America, I was to meet 
with a man whose eloquence would give to this topick a new 
and more sublime pathos, than I had ever before witnessed. 

As he descended from the pulpit, to distribute the mys- 
tick symbols, there was a peculiar, a more than human so- 
lemnity in his air and manner, which made my blood run 
cold, and my whole frame shiver. 

He then drew a picture of the sufferings of our Saviour ; 
his trial before Pilate ; his ascent up Calvary ; his cruci- 
fixion ; and his death. I knew the whole history ; but 
never, until then, had I heard the circumstances so select- 
ed, so arranged, so coloured ! It was all new : and I seemeu 
to have heard it for the first time in my life. His enuncia- 
tion was so deliberate, that his voice trembled on every 
syllable ; and every heart in the assembly trembled in uni- 
son. His peculiar phrases had that force of description, 



Lesson 181.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 417 

that the original scene appeared to be, at that moment, 
acting before our eyes. We saw the very faces of the 
Jews : the staring, frightful distortions of malice and rage, 
We saw the buffet : my soul kindled with a flame of indig- 
nation ; and my hands were involuntarily and convulsively 
clinched. 

But when he came to touch on the patience, the forgiv- 
ing meekness of our Saviour ; when he drew, to the life, 
his blessed eyes streaming in tears to heaven ; his Voice 
breathing to God, a soft and gentle prayer of pardon on 
his enemies, " Father, forgive them, for they know not 
what thev do" — the voice of the preacher, which had all 
along faltered, grew fainter and hunter, until, his utterance 
being entirely obstructed by the force of his feelings, he 
raided his handkerchief to his eves, and burst into a loud 
and irrepressible flood of grief. The effect is inconceivable, 
The whole house resounded with the mingled groans, and 
sobs, and shrieks of the congregation. 

It was some time before the tumult had subsided, so far 
as to permit him to proceed. Indeed, judging by the usual, 
but fallacious standard of mv own weakness, 1 began to be 
?ery uneasy for the situation of the preacher. For I could 
not conceive, how he would be able to let his audience 
down from the height to which he had wound them, with- 
out impairing the solemnity and dignity of his subject, oi 
perhaps shocking them by the abruptness of the fall. Bui — 
no : the descent was as beautiful and sublime, as the eleva- 
tion had been rapid and enthusiastick. 

The first sentence, with which he broke the awful silence* 
was a quotation from Rousseau : " Socrates died like a phi- 
losopher, but Jesus Christ, like a God !" 

I despair of giving you any idea of the effect produced by 
this short sentence, unless you could perfectly conceive the 
whole manner of the man, as well as the peculiar crisis in 
the discourse. Never before, did I completely understand 
what Demosthenes meant by laying such stress on delivery. 
You are to bring before you the venerable figure of the 
preacher : his blindness, constantly recalling to your recol- 
lection old Homer, Ossian, and Milton, and associating with 
his performance, the melancholy grandeur of their geniuses; 
you are to imagine that you hear his slow, solemn, well-ac- 
cented enunciation, and his voice of affecting, trembling 
melody; you are to remember the pitch of passion and en- 
thusiasm to which the congregation were raised ; and then, 



418 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 182. 

the few minutes of portentous, deathlike silence which 
reigned throughout the house : the preacher, removing his 
white handkerchief from his aged face, (even yet wet from 
the recent torrent of his tears) and slowly stretching forth 
the palsied hand which holds it, begins the sentence : " Soc- 
rates died like a philosopher" — then pausing, raising his 
other hand, pressing them both, clasped together, with 
warmth and energy to his breast, lifting his " sightless balls" 
to heaven, and pouring his whole soul into his tremulous 
voice — " but Jesus Christ — like a God !" If he had been 
indeed and in truth an angel of light, the effect could scarce- 
ly have been more divine. 



LESSON CLXXXII. 

Scene from the Tragedy of King John. — Shakspeare. 

Prince Arthur, Hubert, and Attendants. 
Scene. — A room in the castle, Northampton. 

Enter Hubert and two Attendants. 

Hubert. Heat me these irons hot ; and look thou stand 
Within the arras : when I strike my foot, 

Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth, 

And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, 
Fast to the chair : be heedful : hence, and watch. 

1 Attendant. I hope your warrant will bear out the deed. 

Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you : look to't. — 

[Exeunt Attendants. 
Young lad, come forth ; I have to say with you. 

Enter Arthur. 

Arthur. Good morrow, Hubert. 

Hub. Good morrow, little prince. 

Arth. As little prince (having so great a title 
To be more prince,) as may be. — You are sad. 

Hub, Indeed, I have been merrier. 

Arth. Mercy on me ! 

Methinks nobody should be sad but I : 
Yet I remember, when I was in France, 
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night, 
Only for wantonness. By my Christendom, 
go I were out }f prison, and kept sheep, 



Lesson 182.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 419 

I should be merry as the day is long ; 

And so I would be here, but that I doubt 

My uncle practises more harm to me : 

He is afraid of me, and I of him i 

Is it my fault that I were Geoffrey's son ? 

No indeed, is't not ; and I would to heaven, 

I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert. 

Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate 
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead : 
Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [AsuU* 

Arth. Are you sick, Hubert 1 You look pale to-day. 
In sooth, I would you were a little sick ; 
That I might sit all night, and watch with you. 
I warrant, I love you more than you do me. 

Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom. — 
Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.] How now 
foolish rheum ! [Aside. 

Turning dispiteous torture out the door ! 
I must be brief ; lest resolution drop 
Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears. — 
Can you not read it ? Is it not fair writ 1 

Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect : •> 

Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ? 

Hub. Young boy, I must. 

Arth. And will you ? 

Hub. And I will. 

Arth. Have you the heart 1 When your head did but ache, 
I knit my handkerchief about your brows, 
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) 
And I did never ask it you again : 
And with my hand at midnight held your head 
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour, 
Still and anon cheered up the heavy time ; 
Saying, What lack you ? and, Where lies your grief t 
Or, What good love may I perform for you ? 
Many a poor man's son would have lain still, 
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you ; 
But you at your sick service had a prince. 
Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love, 
And call it, cunning : do, an if you will : 
If heaven be pleased that you should use me ill, 
Why, then you must. — Will you put out mine eyes t 
These eyes, that never did, nor never shall, 
So much as frown on you ? 



420 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 182. 

Hub. I have sworn to do it ; 

And with hot irons must I burn them out. 

Arth. AJi, none, but in this iron age would do it : 
The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, 
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, 
And quench its fiery indignation, 
Even in the matter of mine innocence : 
Nay, after that, consume away in rust, 
But for containing fire to harm mine eye. 
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammered iron ? 
An if an angel should have come to me, 
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, 
I would not have believed no tongue but Hubert's.* 

Hub. Come forth. [Stamps 

Re-enter Attendants, with cord, irons, Sfc. ; 
Do as I bid you do. 

Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me ! My eyes are out, 
Even with the fierce looks of the bloody men. 

Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here. 

Arth. Alas ! what need you be so boisterous-rough : 
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still. 
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! 
Nay, hear me, Hubert ! drive these men away, 
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb ; 
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, 
Nor look upon the irons angerly ; 
Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you, 
Whatever torment you do put me to. 

Hub. Go, stand within ; let me alone with him. 

1 Atten. I am best pleased to be from such a deed. 

[Exeunt Attendants* 

Arth. Alas ! I then have chid away my friend : 
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart :— 
Let him come back, that his compassion may 
Give life to yours. 

Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself. 

Arth. Is there no remedy 1 

Hub. None, but to lose your eyes. 

Arth. O heaven ! that there were but a mote in yours, 
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair, 
Any annoyance in that precious sense ! 

* The two negatives in this line do not amount to an affirmative-, 
they are used to strengthen the negation : — a solecism, tolerated in til© « 
age, and often found in the writings, of Shakspeare, 



Lesson 182.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 421 

Then, feeling what small things are boisterous there, 
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible. 

Hub. Is this your promise ? Go to, hold your tongue. 

Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues 
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes : 
Let me not hold my tongue ; let me not, Hubert ! 
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, 
So I may keep mine eyes ; O, spare mine eyes ; 
Though to no use, but still to look on you ! 
Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold, 
And would not harm me. 

Hub. I can heat it, boy. 

Arth. No, in good sooth, the fire is dead with grief- 
Being create for comfort — to be used 
In undeserved extremes : See else yourself : 

a/ 

There is no malice in this burning coal ; 

The breath of heaven hath blown its spirit out, 

And strewed repentant ashes on his head. 

Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. 

Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush* 
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert ; 
Nay, it perchance, will sparkle in your eyes, 
And, like a dog, that is compelled to fight, 
Snatch at his master that does tarre him on.* 
All things, that you should use to do me wrong, 
Deny their office ; only you do lack 
That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends, — 
Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses. 

Hub. Well, see to live ; I will not touch thine eyes 
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes ;t 
Yet I am sworn, and I did purpose, boy, 
With this same very iron to burn them out. 

Arth* O, now you look like Hubert ! ail this while 
You were disguised. 

Hub. Peace : no more : Adieu ! — 

Y our uncle must not know but you are dead : 
I'll rill these dogged spies with false reports. 
And, pretty chiid, sleep doubtless, and secure 
That Hubert, tor the wealth of all the world, 
Will not offend thee. 

Arth. O heaven ! — I thank you, Hubert. 

Hub. Silence : no more. Go closely in with me : 
Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt 

* Set him on. t Owns. 

3G 



422 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 183. 

LESSON CLXXX1II. 

The Contrasts of Alpine Scenery. — Byron* 

Adieu to thee, fair Rhine ! how long, delighted, 

The stranger fain would linger on his way! 
Thine is a scene alike where souls united, 

Or lonely Contemplation thus might stray ; 

And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey 
On self-condemning bosoms, it were here, 

Where Nature, nor too sombre nor too gay, 
Wild, but not rude, awful, yet not austere, 
Is to the mellow Earth as Autumn to the year. 

Adieu to thee again ! a vain adieu ! 

There can be no farewell to scenes like thine ; 
The mind is coloured by thine every hue ; 

And if reluctantly the eyes resign 

Their cherished gaze upon thee, lovely Rhine ! 
'Tis with the thankful glance of parting praise : 

More mighty spots may rise — more glaring shine, 
But none unite, in one attaching maze, 
The brilliant, fair, and soft, — the glories of old days. 

The negligently grand, the fruitful bloom 
Of coming ripeness, the white city's sheen, 

The rolling stream, the precipice's gloom, 

The forest's growth, and Gothick walls between, 
The wild rocks, shaped as they had turrets been, 

In mockery of man's art ; and these withal 
A race of faces happy as the scene, 

Whose fertile bounties here extend to all, 
Still springing o'er thy banks, though empires near them fall 

Bat these recede. Above me are the Alps, 

The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls 
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy setups, 

And throned Eternity in icy halls 

Of cold sublimity, where forms and fa!ls 
The avalanche — the thunderbolt of snow ! 

All that expands the spirit yet appals, 
Gather around these summits, as to show 
How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below, 



fff *w 



Lesson 183.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 423 

Lake Leman woos me with its crystal face,— 

The mirror, where the stars and mountains riew 
The stillness of their aspect in each trace 

It3 clear depth yields of their far height and hue. 

There is too much of man here, to look through, 
With a fit mind, the might which I behold ; 

But soon in me shall loneliness renew 
Thoughts hid, but not less cherished than of old, 
E'er mingling with the herd had penned me in their fold. 

* * # * * 

Dlear, placid Leman ! thy cc ntrasted lake 

With the wide world I've dwelt in is a thing 
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake 

Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring. 

This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing 
To waft me from distraction ; once I loved 

Torn ocean's roar ; but thy soft murmuring 
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved, 
That I with stern delights should ere have been so moved 

It is the hush of night ; and all between 

Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear, 
Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen, 

Save darkened Jura, whose capped heights appear 

Precipitously steep ; and drawing near, 
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore, 

Of flowers yet fresh with childhood ; on the ear 
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar, 
Or chirps the grass-hopper one good-night carol more. 

He is an evening reveller, who makes 

His life an infancy, and sings his fill ; 
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes, 

Starts into voice a moment, then is still. 

There seems a floating whisper on the hill ;— 
But that is fancy ; for the starlight dews. 

All silently their tears of love distil, 
Weeping themselves away till they infuse 
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues. 

Ye stars ! which are the poetry of heaven, 

If, in your bright leaves, we would read the fate 

Of men and empires, — 'tis to be forgiven, 
That in our aspirations to be great 
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state, 



4S4 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 183. 

And claim a kindred with you ; for ye are 

A beauty and a mystery, and create 
In us such love and reverence from afar, 
That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star. 

All heaven and earth are still, — though not in sleep, 
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most ; 

And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep : — 
All heaven and earth are still : From the high host 
Of stars to the lulled lake, and mountain coast, 

All is concentered in a life intense, 

Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost, 

But hath a part of being, and a sense 
Of That which is of all Creator and Defence. 

*A£* <fc -V- -Ai* 4fe 

w W w w *W" 

The sky is changed ! and such a change !• Oh Night, 
And Storm, and Darkness, ye are wondrous strong, 

Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light 
Of a dark eye in woman ! Far along, 
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among, 

Leaps the live thunder ! — not from one lone cloud, 
But every mountain now hath found a tongue ; 

And Jura answers, through her misty shroud, 
Back to the joyous Alps who call to her aloud ! 

And this is in the night :- — Most glorious night ! 

Thou wert not sent for slumber ! let me be 
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight, — 

A portion of the tempest and of thee ! 

How the lit lake shines, — a phosphorick sea— 
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth ! 

And now again 'tis black — and now, the glee 

Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain mirth, 

As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth. 

•&!• M* 41* «&!• J!* 

3r - w 3F 9r - 3? 

Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings ! ye, 

With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul 
To make these felt and feeling, well may be 

Things that have made me watchful : — the far loll 

Of your departing voices is the knoll 
Of what in me is sleepless, — if I rest. 

But where, of ye, O tempests ! is the goal ? 
Are ye like those within the human breast '? 
Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest 1 

***** 






Lesson 184.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 425 

The morn is up again, the dewy morn, 

With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom, 
Laughing the clouds away, with playful scorn, 

And living as if earth contained no tomb, — 

And glowing into day: we may resume 
The march of our existence : and thus I, 

Still on thy shores, fair Leman ! may find room 
And food for meditation, nor pass by 
Much that may give us pause, if pondered fittingly. 



LESSON CLXXXIV. 

The fat Actor and the Rustick. — New Monthly Magazin* 

Cardinal Wolsey was a man 

Of an unbounded stomach, Shakspeare says, 
Meaning, (in metaphor,) for ever puffing, 
To swell beyond his size and span ; 

But had he seen a player in our days 
Enacting FalstafF without stuffing, 
He would have owned that Wolsey's bulk ideal 

Equalled not that within the bounds 

This actor's belt surrounds, 
Which is, moreover, all alive and real. 

This player, when the peace enabled shoals 

Of our odd fishes 
To visit every clime betweea the poles, 
Swam with the stream, a h ^trionick Krakeii, 

Although his wi h s 
Must not, in this proceeding, be mistaken; 
For he went out professionally, — bent 
To see how money might be made, not spent. 

In this most laudable * mploy 

He found himself al Lille one afternoon, 
And, that he might th breeze enjoy, 

And catch a peep a 1 the ascending moon, 
Out of the town JLe took a stroll, 
Refreshing in the fields his soul, 
With sight of streams, and trees, and snowy fleeces, 
And thoughts of crowded houses and new pieces. 

When we are pleasantly employed time flies ; 
He counted up his profits, in the skies, 

3(5* 



42G THE AMERICAN [Lesson 185. 

Until the moon began to shine ; 
On which f'ye gazed a while, and then 

Pulled out his watch, and cried — " Past nine ! 
Why, zounds ! they shut the gates at ten."— 

Backward he turn'd his steps instanter,* 

Stumping along with might and main ; 

And, though 'tis plain 
He couldn't gallop, trot, or canter, 

(Those who had seen him would confess it) he 

Marched well for one of such obesity. 
Eyeing his watch, and now his forehead mopping. 

He puffed and blew along the road, 
Afraid of melting, more afraid of stopping, 

When in his path he met a clown 

Returning from the town. 
" Tell me," he panted in a thawing state, 
" Dost think I can get La, friend, at the gate V* 

" Get in !" replied the hesitating loon, 
Measuring with his eye our bulky wight, 
" Why — yes, Sir, — I should think you might ; 

" A load of hay went in this afternoon." 



LESSON CLXXXV. 

Speech of Catiline before the Roman Senate, in reply to th* 
charges of Cice~o. — Croly's Catiline* 

— Conscript Fathers ! 

I do not rise to waste the night in words : 
Let that plebeian talk ; 'tis not my trade ; 
But here I stand for right — Let him show proofs; 
For Roman right ; though none, it seems, dare stand. 
To take their share with me. Ay, cluster there, 
Cling to your masters ; judges, Romans — slaves! 
His charge is false ; I dare him to his proofs ; 
You have n:v answer: * * * — Let my actions speak. 
But this I will avow, that I have scorned 
And still do scorn, to hide my sense of wrong : 
Who brands me on the forehead, breaks my sword f 
Or lays the bloody scourge upon my back, 
Wrongs me not half so much as he who shuts 

* Immediately. 




Lesson 186.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 427 

The gates of honour on me, — turning out 

The Roman from his birthright ; and for what T — 

To fling your offices to every slave ; ( — Looking round him*) 

Vipers, that creep where man disdains to climb ; 

And having wound their loathsome track to the top 

Of this huge mouldering monument of Rome, 

Hang hissing at the nobler man below. 

Come, consecrated lictors ! from your thrones ; 

( To the Senate.) 
Fling down your sceptres ; — take the rod and axe, 
And make the murder, as you make the law. 



LESSON CLXXXVI. 

The Battle Hymn of the Berlin Landstrum.* 

Father of earth and heaven ! I call thy name I 

Round me the smoke and shout of battle roll ; 
My eyes are dazzled with the rustling flame ; 

Father, sustain an untried soldier's soul. 

Or life, or death, whatever be the goal 
That crowns or closes round this struggling hour, 

Thou knowest, if ever from my spirit stole 
One deeper prayer, 'twas that no cloud might lower 
On my young fame ! — O hear ! God of eternal power ! 

God ! thou art merciful. — The wintry storm, 

The cloud that pours the thunder from its womb, 

But show the sterner grandeur of thy form ; 

The lightnings, glancing through the midnight gloom, 
To Faith's raised eye as calm, as lovely come, 

As splendours of the autumnal evening star, 
As roses shaken by the breeze's plume, 

When like cool incense comes the dewy air, 
And on the golden wave, the sun-set burns afar. 

God ! thou art mighty ! — At thy footstool bound, 
Lie gazing to thee, Chance, and Life, and Death ; 

Nor in the Angel-circle flaming round, 

Nor in the million worlds that blaze beneath, 

I? one that can withstand thy wrath's hot breath.— 

• The Landstrum (German) is the military *brce of the country, as 
distinguished from the regular standing army . — the whole mass of the 
undisciplined militia, called out in some sudden exigency of the state. 



428 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 187 

Wo in thy frown — in thy smile victory ! 

Hear my last prayer !— I ask no mortal wreath ; 
Let but these eyes my rescued country see, 
Then take my spirit, All Omnipotent, to thee. 

Now for the fight — now for the cannon-peal — 

Forward — through blood, and toil, and cloud, and fire ! 
Glorious the shout, the shock, the crash of steel, 

The volley's roll, the rocket's blasting spire ; 

They shake — like broken waves their squares retire, — 
On them, hussars ! — Now give them rein and heel ; 

Think of the orphaned child, the murdered sire : — 
Earth cries for blood, — in thunder on them wheel ! 
This hour to Europe's fate shall set the triumph-seal ! 



LESSON CLXXXVIL 

Extract from " Heaven and Earth , — A Mystery" — By 

Lord Byron. 

Raphael, the Archangel. — Noah. — Japhet. 
Scene near the Ark. just before the beginning of the Deluge. 

Japhet. Oh, say not so, 

Father ! and thou, Archangel, thou ! 

Celestial mercy lurks below 
That pure serenity of brow. 
Let them not meet this sea without a shore ! 
Save in our ark, or let me be no more ! 
Noah. Peace ! child of passion, peace ! 

If not within thy heart, yet with thy tongue 
Do God no wrong. 
Live as he wills it — die, when he ordains, 
A righteous death, unlike the seed of Cain's. 

Cease ! or be sorrowful in silence, cease 
To weary Heaven's ear with thy selfish plaint. 

Be a man ! 
And bear what Adam's race must bear, and can. 
Japh. Ay, father ! but when they are gone, 
And we are all alone 
Floating upon the azure desert, and 
The depth beneath us hides our own dear land, 

And clearer, silent friends and brethren, all 
Buried in its immeasurable breast, 



» 



Lesson 187.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 429 

Who, who, our tears, our shrieks shall then command 1 
Can we in desolation's peace have rest ? 
Oh God ! be thou a God, and spare 
While yet 'tis time ! 
Renew not Adam's fall : 
Mankind were then but twain, 
But they are numerous now as are the waves, 

And the tremendous rain, 
Whose drops shall be less thick than would their graves, 
Were graves permitted to the sons of Cain. 
Noah* Silence, vain boy ! each word of thine 's a crime ! 
Angel ! forgive this stripling's fond despair. 

# * # * * 

Japh. Hark ! hark ! deep sounds, and deeper still, 
Are howling from the mountain's bosom : 
There's not a breath of wind upon the hill, 

Yet quivers every leaf, and drops e*iJi blossom : 
Earth groans, as if beneath a heavy load. 
Noah. Hark ! hark ! the sea-birds cry ! 
In clouds they overspread the lurid sky, 

And hover round the mountain, where before * 

Never a white wing, wetted by the wave, 

Yet dared to soar ; — 
Even when the waters waxed too fierce to brave. 
Soon shall it be their only shore, 
And then no more ! 
Japh. The sun ! the sun ! 
He riseth, but his better light is gone, 
And a black circle, bound 
His glaring disk around, 
Proclaims Earth's last of summer days hath shone ! 
The clouds return into the hues of night, 
Save where their brazen-coloured edges streak 
The verge where brighter mornings used to break, 
Noah. And lo ! yon flash of light, 
The distant thunder's harbinger, appears 1 
It cometh ! hence, away, 
Leave to the elements their evil prey ! 
Hence, to where our all-hallowed ark uprears 
Its safe and wreckless sides. 
Japh. Oh, father, stay ! 

Leave not my Anah to the swallowing tides ! 
Noah. Must we not leave all life to such 1 Begone ! 
Japh. Not I. 






'© 



430 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 188. 

Noah. Then die 

With them. 
How dar'st thou look on that prophetick sky, 
And seek to save what all things else condemn, 
In overwhelming unison 
With just Jehovah's wrath 1 
Japli. Can rage and justice join in the same path ? 
Noah Blasphemer ! dar'st thou murmur, even now 1 
Raph. Patriarch ! be still a father, smooth thy brow : 
Thy son, despite his folly, shall not sink ; 
He knows not what he says, yet shall not drink 
With sobs the salt foam of the swelling waters ; 

But be, when passion passeth, good as thou, 
Nor perish, like heaven's children, with man's daughters. 



LESSON CLXXXVIII. 

Speech of Catiline before the Roman Senate, on hearing' hit 
sentence of banishment. — Croly's Catiline. 

Banished from Rome ! what's banished, but set tree 
From daily contact of the things I loathe 1 
c Tried and convicted traitor !' — Who says this 1 
Who'll prove it, at his peril, on my head ? 
Banished 1 — I thank you for't. It breaks my chain ! 
I held some slack allegiance till this hour — 
But now my sword's my own. Smile on, my lords ; 
I scorn to count what feelings, withered hopes, 
Strong provocations, bitter, burning wrongs, 
I have within my heart's hot cells shut up, 
To leave you in your lazy dignities. 
But here I sfftnd and SCOif YOU ;— here I nihff 
Hatred and full defiance in your face. 
Your Consul's merciful. For this all thanks. 
He dares not touch a hair of Catiline. 

* Traitor !' I go — but I return. This— trial ! I 

Here I devote your senate ! I've had wrongs, I 

To stir a fever in the blood of age, 
Or make the infant's sinew strong as steel. 
This day's the birth of sorrows !— This hour's work 
Will breed proscriptions. — Look to your hearths, my lord*, 
For there henceforth shall sit, for household gods, 
Shapes hot from Tartarus ! — all shames and crimes ; — j 



Lesson 189.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 431 

Wan Treachery, with his thirsty dagger drawn ; 
Suspicion, poisoning his brother's cup ; 
Naked Rebellion, with the torch and axe, 
Making his wild sport of your blazing thrones ; 
Till Anarchy comes down on you like Night, 
And Massacre seals Rome's eternal grave. 



LESSON CLXXXIX. 

Dialogue between Hamlet and Horatio. — Shaksfeasb. 

Horatio. Hail to your lordship ! 

Hamlet. I am glad to see you well : 
Horatio — or I do forget myself. 

Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever. 

Ham. Sir, my good friend ; I'll change that name with y<ML 
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio 1 

Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord. 

Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so ; 
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence, 
To make it truster of your own report 
Against yourself. I know, you are no truant. 
But what is your affair in Elsinore ? 
We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart. 

Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's fimeraL 

Ham. I pray thee do not mock me, fellow-student ; 
I think it was to see my mother's wedding. 

Hor. Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon. 

Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio ; the funeral baked meats 
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. 
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven, 
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio ! 
My father — me thinks I see my father 

Hor. Where, my lord 1 

Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio. 

Hor. I saw him once ; he was a goodly king. 

Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all, 
I shall not look upon his like again. 

Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight. 

Ham. Saw ! who ? 

Hor. My lord, the king, your father. 

Ham. The king, my father ! 

Hor Season your admiration for a while f 



432 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 189. 

With an attent ear ; till I may deliver 
This marvel to you. 

Ham. For heaven's love let me hear. 

Hor. Two rights together had those gentlemen, 
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch, 
In the dead waist and middle of the night, 
Been thus encountered : a figure, like your father, 
Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pie, 
Appears before them, and, with solemn march, 
Goes slow and stately by them : thrice he walked 
By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes, 
Within his truncheon's length ; whilst they, distilled 
Almost to jelly with the act of fear, 
Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me, 
In dreadful secrecy, impart they did ; 
And I with them, the third night, kept the watch : 
Where, as they had delivered, both in time, 
Form of the thing, each word made true and good, 
The apparition comes. I knew your father ; 
These hands are not more like. 

Ham. But where was this ? 

Hor. My lord, upon the platform where we watched. 

Ham. Did you not speak to it ? 

Hor. My lord, I did ; 
But answer made it none. Yet once, methought 
It lifted up its head, and did address 
Itself to motion, like as it would speak : 
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud ; 
And, at the sound, it shrunk in haste away, i 

And vanished from our sight. 

Ham. 'Tis very strange. 

Hor. As I do live, my honoured lord, 'tis true ; 
And we did think it writ down in our duty, 
To let you know of it. 

Ham. Indeed, indeed, Sir, but this troubles me 
Hold you the watch to-night 1 

Hor. We do, my lord. 

Ham. Armed, say you ? 

Hor. Armed, my lord. 

Ham. From top to toe 1 

Hor. My lord, from head to foot. 

Ham. Then saw you not his face. 

Hor. O, yes, my lord ; he wore his beaver up. 

Ham. What, looked he frowningly ? 



Lesson 190.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 433 

Hor. A countenance more 
In sorrow than in anger. 

Ham. Pale, or red 1 

Hor. Nay, very pale. 

Ham. And fixed his eyes upon you 1 

Hor. Most constantly. 

Ham, I would I had been there ! 

Hor. It would have much amazed you. 

Ham. Very like, very like ; — Staid it long 1 

Hor. While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred. 

Ham. His beard was grizzled 1 — no 1 

Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life, 
A sable silvered. 

Ham. I will watch to-night ; 
Perchance 'twill walk again. 

Hor. I warrant 'twill. 

Ham. If it assume my noble father's person, 
I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape, 
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you, Sir, 
If you have hitherto concealed this sight, 
Let it be tenable in your silence still ; 
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night, 
Give it an understanding, but no tongue ; 
I will requite your love : so, fare you well. 
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve, 
I'll visit you. 

LESSON CXC. 

Extract from the Essay on Criticism. — Pope. 

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see 
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be. 
In every work regard the writer's end, 
Since none can compass more than they intend ; 
And, if the means be just, the conduct true, 
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due. 
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit, 
T' avoid great errours must the less commit ; 
Neglect the rules each verbal critick lays, 
For not to know some trifles, is a praise. 
Most criticks, fond of some subservient art, 
Still make the whole depend upon a part : 
They talk of principles, but notions prize, 
And ail to one loved folly sacrifice ; 
37 



434 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 190. 

Once on a time, La Mancha's knight, they say, 

A certain bard encountering on the way, 

Discoursed in terms as just, with looks as sage, 

As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage ; 

Concluding all were desperate sots and fools, 

Who durst depart from Aristotle's rules. 

Our author, happy in a judge so nice, 

Produced his play, and begged the knight's advice : 

Made him observe the subject, and the plot, 

The manners, passions, unities ; what not 1 

All which, exact to rule, were brought about, 

Were but a combat in the lists left out. 

" What ! leave the combat out ?" exclaims the knight. 

Yes, or we must renounce the Stagirite. 

*' Not so by heaven !" (he answers in a rage) 

" Knights, squires, and steeds must enter on the stage.'* 

So vast a throng the stage can ne'er contain : 

" Then build a new, or act it in a plain." 

Thus criticks, of less judgement than caprice, 
Curious, not knowing, not exact, but nice, 
Form short ideas ; and offend in arts 
(As most in manners) by a love to parts. 

Some to conceit alone their taste confine, 
And glittering thoughts struck out at every line ; 
Pleased with a work where nothing's just or fit I 
One glaring chaos and wild heap of wit. 
Poets, like painters, thus unskilled to trace 
The naked nature, and the living grace, 
With gold and jewels cover every part, 
And hide with ornaments their want of art. 
True wit is Nature to advantage dressed, 
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed ; 
Something, whose truth convinced at sight we find, 
That gives us back the image of our mind. 
As shades more sweetly recommend the light, 
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit ; 
For works may have more wit than does them goods 
As bodies perish through excess of blood. 

Others for language all their care express, 
And value books, as women men, — for dress : 
Their praise is still, — the style is excellent : 
The sense, they humbly take upon content. 
Words are like leaves ; and where they most abound, 
much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. 



Lessen 190.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 435 

False eloquence, like the prismatick glass, 
Its gaudy colours spreads on every place ; 
The face of Nature we no more survey, 
All glares alike, without distinction gay : 
But true expression, like the unchanging sun, 
Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon ; 
It gilds all objects, but it alters none. 

Expression is the dress of thought, and still 
Appears more decent, as more suitable : 
A vile conceit in pompous words expressed, 
Is like a clown in regal purple dressed : 
For different styles with different subjects sort 
As several garbs, with country, town, and court. 
In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold ; 
Alike fantastick, if too new or old : 
Be not the first by whom the new are tried, 
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. 

But most by numbers judge a poet's song ; 
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong. 
In the bright Muse though thousand charms conspire 
Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire ; 
Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear, 
Not mend their minds ; as some to church repair, 
Not for the doctrine, but the musick there. 
These, equal syllables alone require, 
Though oft the ear the open vowels tire ; 
While expletives their feeble aid do join, 
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line : 
While they ring round the same unvaried chimes, 
With sure returns of still expected rhymes ; 
Where'er you find the " cooling western breeze," 
In the next line it " whispers through the trees :" 
If crystal streams " with pleasing murmurs creep," 
The reader's threatened, (not in vain,) with "sleep:" 
Then at the last and only couplet, fraught 
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, 
A needless Alexandrine ends the song, 
That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. 

Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know 
What's roundly smooth or languishingly slow ; 
And praise the easy vigour of a line, 
Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join. 
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, 
As those move easiest who have learned to dance. 



436 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 191. 

'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence ; 
The sound must seem an echo to the sense : 
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, 
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; 
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, 
i* The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar. 
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, 
The line too labours, and the words move slow : 
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain, 
Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main. 
Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise, 
And bid alternate passions fall and rise ! 
While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove 
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love ; 
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow ; 
Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow: 
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found, 
And the world's victor stood subdued by sound. 



LESSON CXCI. 

Dialogue : — Gil Blas* and the Old Archbishop. — From Le Sagb, 

Arch. Well, young man, what is your business with me ? 

Gil Bias. I am the young man whom your nephew, Do* 
Fernando, was pleased to mention to you. 

Arch. O ! you are the person then, of whom he spoke so 
handsomely. I engage you in my service, and consider you 
a Tamable acquisition. From the specimens he showed me 
of your powers, you must be pretty well acquainted with the 
Greek and Latin authors. It is very evident your education 
has not been neglected. I am satisfied with your hand writ- 
ing, and still more with your understanding. I thank my 
nephew, Don Fernando, for having given me such an able 
young man, whom I consider a rich acquisition. You tran- 
scribe so well you must certainly understand grammar. Tell 
me, ingenuously, my friend, did you find nothing that shock- 
ed you in writing over the homily I sent you on trial ? some 
neglect, perhaps, in style, or some improper term ? 

Gil B. O ! Sir, I am not learned enough to make critical 

observations, and if I was I am persuaded the works of your 

grace would escape my censure. 

* In this name, the g has the sound of z in a-zure ; the a is sounded 
i\s in bar, — and the s is silent. 



Lesson 191.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 437 

Arch. Young man, you are disposed to flatter ; but tell 
me, which parts of it did you think most strikingly beau- 
tiful. 

Gil B. If, where all was excellent, any parts were par- 
ticularly so, I should say they were the personification of 
hope, and *he description of a good man's death. 

Arch. I see you have a delicate knowledge of the truly 
beautiful. This is what I call having taste and sentiment. 
Gil Bias, henceforth give thyself no uneasiness about thy 
fortune, I will take care of that. I Jove thee, and as a proof 
of my affection, I will make thee my confidant : yes, my 
child, thou shalt be the repository of my most secret thoughts. 
Listen with attention to what I am going to say. My chief 
pleasure consists in preaching, and the Lord gives a bless- 
ing to my homilies ; but I confess my weakness. The hon- 
our of being thought a perfect orator has charmed my imagi- 
nation, my performances are thought equally nervous and 
delicate ; but I would of all things avoid the fault of good 
authors, who write too long. Wherefore, my dear Gil Bias, 
one thing that I exact of thy zeal, is, whenever thou shalt 
perceive my pen smack of old age, and my genius flag, don't 
fail to advertise me of it, for I don't trust to my own judge- 
ment, which maybe seduced by self-love. Tiiat observation 
must proceed from a disinterested understanding, and I 
make choice of thine, which I know is good, and am re- 
solved to stand by thy decision. 

Gil B. Thank heaven, Sir, that time is far off. Besides, 
a genius like that of your grace, will preserve its vigour 
much better than any other, or to speak more justly, will 
be always the same. I look upon you as another Cardinal 
Ximines, whose superiour genius, instead of being weaken- 
ed, seemed to acquire new strength by age. 

Arch. No flattery, friend, I know I am liable to sink all 
at once. People at my age begin to feel infirmities, and 
the infirmities of the body often affect the understanding. I 
repeat it to thee again, Gil Bias, as soon as thou shalt judge 
mine in the least impaired, be sure to give me notice. And 
be not afraid of speaking freely and sincerely, f> I shall 
receive thy advice as a mark of thy affection, 

Gil B. Your grace may always depend upon my fidelity. 

Arch. I know thy sincerity, Gil Jifas ; and now tell me 
plainly, hast thou not heard the people make some remarks 
upon my late homilies ? 

Gil B. Your homilies Iiave ahvays been admired, but it 
37* 






433 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 192 

seems to me that the last did not appear to have had so 
powerful an effect upon the audience as former ones. 

Arch. How, Sir, has it met with any Aristarchus ?* 

Gil B. No, Sir, by no means, such works as yours are not 
to be criticised ; every body is charmed with them. Never- 
theless, since you have laid your injunctions upon me to be 
free and sincere, I will take the liberty to tell you that your 
last discourse, in my judgement, has not altogether the ener- 
gy of your other performances. Did you not think so, 
Sir, yourself? 

Arch. So, then, Mr. Gil Bias, this piece is not to your taste ? 

Gil B. I don't say so, Sir, I think it excellent, although 
a little inferiour to your other works. 

Arch. I understand you ; you think I flag, don't you ? Come, 
be plain ; you believe it is time for me to think of retiring. 
' Gil B. I should not have been so bold as to speak so 
freely, if your grace had not commanded me ; I do no more, 
therefore, than obey you ; and I most humbly beg that you 
will not be offended at my freedom. 

Arch. God forbid ! God forbid that I should find fault 
with it. I don't at all take it ill that you should speak your 
sentiments, it is your sentiment itself, only, that I find bad. 
I have been most egregiously deceived in your narrow un- 
derstanding. 

Gil B. Your grace will pardon me for obeying 

Arch. Say no more, my child, you are yet too raw to 
make proper distinctions. Be it known to you, I never 
composed a better homily, than that which you disapprove ; 
for, my genius, thank heaven, hath, as yet, lost nothing of 
its vigour : henceforth 1 will make a better choice of a con- 
fidant. Go ! go, Mr. Gil Bias, and tell my treasurer to 
give you a hundred ducats, and may heaven conduct you 
with that sum. Adieu, Mr. Gil Bias ! I wish you all man- 
ner of prosperity, with a little more taste. 



LESSON CXCIL 

Dialogue .'-Alexander the Great, and a Robber.-/??*. Aikin, 

Ahxavfer. Wivvr, art thou the Thracian robber, of whose 
exploits i have heard S o much ? 

* Aristarchus was a celebrated grammarian of Samos. He was fa 
mous for his critical powers ; and he revised the poems of Homer with 
such severity, that, ever after, z}\ severe criticks were called Aristarch* 



Lesson 192.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 439 



j 



Robber, I am a Thracian, and a soldier. 

Alex. A soldier ! — a thief, a plunderer, an assassin ! the 
pest of the country ! I could honour thy courage, but I must 
detest and punish thy crimes. 

Robber. What have I done, of which you can complain? 

Alex. Ha3t thou not set at defiance my authority ; vio- 
lated the publick peace, and passed thy life :"n injuring the 
persons and properties of thy fellow-subjects 1 

Robber. Alexander ! I am your captive — T must hear 
what you please to say, and endure what you please to in- 
flict. But my sou. is unconquered ; and if I reply at all to 
your reproaches, I will reply like a free man. 

Alex. Speak freely. Far be it from me to take the ad- 
vantage of my power, to silence those with whom I deign 
to converse. 

Robber. I must then answer your question by another. 
How have you passed your life 1 

Alex. Like a hero. Ask Fame, and she will tell you* 
Among the brave, I have been the bravest : among sove- 
reigns, the noblest : among conquerors, the mightiest. 

Robber. And does not Fame speak of me too ? Was there 
ever a bolder captain of a more valiant band ? Was there 
ever — but I scorn to boast. You yourself know that I have 
not been easily subdued. 

Alex. Still what are you but a robber- — a base, dishonest 
robber ? 

Robber. And what is a conqueror ? Have not you, too, 
oone about the earth like an evil genius, blasting the fair 
fruits of peace and industry ; plundering, ravaging, killing, 
without law, without justice, merely to gratify an insatiable 
lust for dominion 1 All that I have done to a single district 
with a hundred followers, vou have done to whole nations 
with a hundred thousand. If I have stripped individuals, 
you have ruined kings and princes. If I have burned a few 
hamlets, you have desolated the most flourishing kingdoms 
and cities of the earth. What is, then, the difference, but 
that as you were born a king, and I a private man, you have 
been able to become a mightier robber than I 1 

Ahx. But if I have taken like a kiii£, I have oiven like a 
king. If 1 have subverted empires, I have founded great 
er. I have cherished arts, commerce, and philosophy. 

Robber. I, too, have freely given to the poor what I took 
from the rich. I have established order and discipline among 
the most ferocious of mankind, and have stretched out my 



440 THE AMERICAN (Lesson 193 

protecting arm over the oppressed. I know, indeed, little 
of the philosophy you talk of, but I believe neither you nor 
I shall ever atone to the world for half the mischief we 
have done it. 

Alex. Leave me. Take off his chains, and use him well. 
Are we then so much alike ? Alexander like a robber 1 Let 
me reflect. 



LESSON CXCIII. 

Lines written in 1821 ; on hearing that the Austrians had en- 
tered Naples— with scarcely a show of resistance on the part 
of the Neapolitans, who had declared their independence, and 
pledged themselves to maintain it. — Moore. 

Ay, down to the dust with them, slaves as they are ! 

From this hour let the blood in their dastardly veins, 
That shrunk from the first touch of Liberty's war, 

Be sucked out by tyrants, or stagnate in chains ! 

On — on, like a cloud, through their beaut' ful vales, 
Ye locusts of tyranny ! — blasting them o'er : 

Fill — fill up their wide, sunny waters, ye sails, 

From each slave-mart in Europe, and poison their shore. 

May their fate be a mock-word — may men of all lands 
Laugh out with a scorn that shall ring to the poles, 

When each sword, that the cowards let fall from their hands, 
Shall be forged into fetters to enter their souls ! 

And deep, and more deep, as the iron is driven, 
Base slaves ! may the whet of their agony be, 

To think — as the damned haply think of the heaven 

They had once in their reach, — that they might have 
been free. 

Shame ! shame ! when there was not a bosom, whose heat 
Ever rose o'er the zero of Castlereagh's heart, 

That did not, like Echo, your war-hymn repeat, 

And send back its prayers with your Liberty's start ! . . . 

When the world stood in hope — when a spirit that breathed 
Full fresh of the olden time whispered about, 

And the swords of all Italy, half-way unsheathed, 
But waited one conquering word to flash out ! 



• • 



Lesson 194.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 441 

When around you the shades of your mighty in fame, 
Filicaias and Petrarchs seemed bursting to view, 

And their words and their warnings, — like tongues of bright 
flame 
Over Freedom's apostles — fell kindling on you ! . . . 

Good God ! that in such a proud moment of life, 
Worth ages of history — when, had you but hurled 

One bolt at your bloody invader, \ hat strife 

Between freemen and tyrants had spread through the 
world. . . 

That then — O, disgrace upon manrjood ! e'en then 
You should falter — should cling to your pitiful breath, 

Cower down into beasts, when you might have stood men 
And* prefer a slave's life, to a glorious death! 

It is strange ! — it is dreadful ! Shout, Tyranny, shout 
Through your dungeons and palaces, ' Freedom is o'er 

If there lingers one spark of her fire, tread it out, 
And return to your empire of darkness once more 

For if such are the braggarts that claim to be free, 
Come, Despot of Russia, thy feet let me kiss : — 

Far nobler to live the brute bondman of thee, 
Than sully even chains by a struggle like tins. 



LESSON CXCIV. 

Soliloquy of Macbeth, when going to murder Duncan, king Oj 

Scotland. — Shakspeare. 

Is this a dagger, which I see before me, 
The handle toward my hand ? Come, let me clutch thee :— 
I have thee not ; and yet I see thee still. 
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible 
To feeling, as to sight 1 or art thou but 
A dagger of the mind ; a false creation, 
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain ? 
I see thee yet, in form as palpable 
As this which now I draw. 

Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going ; 
And such an instrument I was to use. 
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses, 
Or else worth all the rest : I see thee still ; 



442 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 195 

And on thy blade, and dudgeon,* goutsf of blood, 
Which was not so before. — There's no such thing ; 
It is the bloody business, which informs 
Thus to mine eyes. — Now o'er the one half world, 
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse 
The curtained sleep ; now witchcraft celebrates 
Pale Hecate's offerings ; and withered murder, 
Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf, 
Whose howls his watch, thus, with his stealthy pace, 
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design 
Moves like a ghost. — Thou sure and firm-set earth, 
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear 
The very stones prate of my where-about, 
And take the present horrour from the time, 
Which now suits with it. — Whiles I threat, he lives ; 
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives. 
I go, and it is done ; the bell invites me. 
Hear it not, Duncan ; for it is a knell 
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell. 

* LESSON CXCV. 

Dialogue from Macbeth. — Shakspearb. 

Scene. — Malcolm and Macduff, in the king's palace in England , 

— Enter Rosse from Scotland. 

Macduff. See, who comes here 1 

Malcolm. My countryman ; but yet I know him not. 

Macd. My ever gentle cousin, welcome hither. 

Mai. I know him now : Good God, betimes remove 
The means that make us strangers ! 

Rosse. Sir, Amen. 

Macd. Stands Scotland where it did 1 

Rosse. Alas, poor country ; 
Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot 
Be called our mother, but our grave : where nothing, 
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile ; 
Where sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rent the air, 
Are made, not marked ; where violent sorrow seems 
A modern ecstasy ; the dead man's knell 
Is there scarce asked, for who ; and good men's lives 
Expire before the flowers in their caps, 
Dying, or ere they sicken. 

* Haft, handle. t Drops, [gouttes, French.] " Qui for dmp m 
still used in Scotland by physicians."— Johnson. The diphthong ou in 
gouts has the sound ofoo y as in croup and group. 



Lesson 195-1 FIRST CLASS BOOK. 443 

Macd. O, relation, 
Too nice, and yet too true ! 

Mai. What is the newest grief? 

Rosse. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker \ 
Each minute teems a new one. 

Macd. How does my wife? 

Rosse. Why, well. 

Macd. And all my children ? 

Rosse. Well too. 

Macd. The tyrant has not battered at their peace ? 

Rosse. No ; they were well at peace, when I did leave them 

Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech : how goes it ? 

Rosse. When I came hither to transport the tidings, 
Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour 
Of many worthy fellows that were out ; 
Which was to my belief witnessed the rather, 
For that I saw the tyrant's power afoot : 
Now is the time of help ; your eye in Scotland 
Would create soldiers, make our women fight, 
To doff their dire distresses. 

Mai. Be it their comfort, 
We are coming thither ; gracious England hath 
Lent us good Siward, and ten thousand men ; 
An older, and a better soldier, none 
That Christendom gives out. 

Rosse. Would I could answer 
This comfort with the like ! But I have words, 
That would be howled out in the desert air, 
Where hearing should not latch* them. 

Macd. What concern they ? 
The general cause ? or is it a fee-grief,f 
Due to some single breast? 

Rosse. No mind, that's honest, 
But in it shares some wo ; though the main part 
Pertains to you alone. 

Macd. If it be mine, 
Keep it not from me ; quickly let me have it. 

Rosse. Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever, 
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound 
That ever yet they heard. 

Macd. Humph !$ I guess at it 

* Catch. t A grief that has a single ownefc 

X This interjection, implying doubt and deliberation, and more 
rectly written hum, is sounded inarticulately, with the lips closed. 



444 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 195. 

Rosse. Your castle is surprised ; your wife and babes 
Savagely slaughtered : to relate the manner, 
Were, on the quarry of these murdered deer, 
To add the death of you. 

Mai. Merciful heaven ! — • 
What ! man, ne'er pull your hat upon your brows ; 
Give sorrow words : the grief, that does not speak, 
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break. 

Macd. My children too 1 

Rosse. Wife, children, servants, all 
That could be found. 

Macd. And I must be from thence ! 
My wife killed too ! 

Rosse. I have said. 

Mai. Be comforted : 
Let's make us medicines of our great revenge, 
To cure this deadly grief. 

Macd. He has no children. — All my pretty ones t 
Did you say, all ?— O, hell-kite !— All ? 
What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam, 
At one fell swoop ? 

Mai. Dispute it like a man. 

Macd. I shall do so ; 
But I must also feel it as a man : 
I cannot but remember such things were, 
That were most precious to me. — Did heaven look on, 
And would not take their part ? Sinful Macduff, 
They were all struck for thee ! naught that I am, 
Not for their own demerits but for mine, 
Fell slaughter on their souls : — Heaven rest them now ! 

Mai. Be this the whetstone of your sword : let grief 
Convert to anger ; blunt not the heart, enrage it. 

Macd. O, I could play the woman with mine eyes, 
And braggart with my tongue ! — But, gentle heaven, 
Cut short all intermission ; front to front, 
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself; 
Within my sword's length set him ; if he 'scape, 
Heaven forgive him too ! 

Mai. This tune goes manly. 
Come, go we to the king ; our power is ready ; 
Our lack is nothing but our leave ; Macbeth 
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above 
Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may ; 
The night is long, that never finds the day. [Exevsi* 



Lesson 196.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 445 

LESSON CXCVI. 

Tlie Passions. — An Ode* — Collins. 

When Musick, heavenly maid, was young, 
While yet in early Greece she sung, 
The Passions oft, to hear her shell, 
Thronged around her ma^iek cell, 
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, 
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting ; 
By turns, they felt the glowing mind 
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined : 
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, 
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired, 
From the supporting myrtles round, 
They snatched her instruments of sound ; 
And, as they oft had heard apart, 
Sweet lessons of her forceful art, 
Each, for madness ruled the hour, 
Would prove his own expressive power. 

First, Fear, his hand, its skill to try, 

Amid the chords bewildered laid ; 
And back recoiled, he knew not why, 

E'en at the sound himself had made. 

Next Anger rushed ; — his eyes on fire, 
In lightnings owned his secret stings, 

In one rude clash he struck the lyre, 

And swept with hurried hand the strings. 

With woful measures wan Uespair- 

Low sullen sounds his ^rief beguiled : — 

A solemn, strange, and mingled air : — 
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. 

But thou, O Hope ! with eyes so fair, 
What was thy delighted measure ? 
Still it whispered promised pleasure, 
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! 
Still would her touch the strain prolong ; 

And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, 
She cailed on Echo still through all her song : 
And where her sweetest theme she chose, 
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ; 
And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair, 

38 



446 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 196. 

And longer had she sung — but, with a frown, 

Revenge impatient rose. 
He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down ; 

And, with a withering look, 

The war-denouncing trumpet took, 
And blew a blast so loud and dread, 
Were ne'er prophetick sounds so full of wo ; 

And, ever and anon, lie beat 

The doubling drum with furious heat : 
And though, sometimes, each dreary pause between* 

Dejected Pity at his side, 

Her soul-subduing voice applied, 
Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien, 
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his 
head. 

Thy numbers^ Jealousy, to nought were fixed ; 

Sad proof of thy distressful state : 
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed : 

And, now it courted Love ; now, raving, called on Hate* 

With eyes up-raised, as one inspired, 

Pale Melancholv sat retired : 

And, from her wild sequestered seat, 

In notes, by distance made more sweet, 
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul : 

And, dashing soft from rocks around, 

Bubbling runnels joined the sound : 
Through glades and glooms, the mingled measures stole, 
Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay, 

(Round a holy calm diffusing, 

Love of peace, and lonely musing) 
In hollow murmurs died away. 

But, O ! how altered was its sprightlier tone 
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue, 

Her bow across her shoulder flung, 
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew, 

Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung!— 

The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known. 
The oak-crowned Sisters, and their chaste-eyed Queen? 
Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen, 
Peeping from forth their alleys green : 
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear, 
And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear* 



Lesson 197.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 447 

Last came Joy's ecstatick trial : — 

He, with vinv crown advancing. 
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed — 
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol, 
Whose sweei entrancing voice he loved the best. 
They would have thought who heard the strain, 
They saw m Tempers vale, her native maids, 

Amids the festal-sounding shades, 
To some unwearied minstrel dancing : 
While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings, 

Love framed with mirth a gav fantastick round, 

(Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound) 
And he, amidst his frolick play, 

As if he would the charming air repay, 
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings. 



LESSON CXCVII. 

The Amateurs, — Monthly Anthology. 
When Festin* heavenly swain, was young 7 

"When first *Attiiii Pr j h[ s viol rung, 

And the soft hautboy's melting trill 
Confessed the magick master's skill ; 
Beneath his opening windows round 
The admiring rabble caught the sound ; 
And oft, at early morn, the throng 
Besieged the house to hear his son or. 
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, 
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired, 
With one consent, thev brought around 
Dire instruments of grating sound ; 
And each, for madness ruled the hour, 
Would try his own sky-rending power. 

First in the ranks, his skill to try, 
A stout and sturdy clown was there; 

A deafening hautbov, cracked and dry, 
Brayed harsh discordance on the air, 
With breath retained, and laboured grin, 
Rapt by his own tumultuous din, 
With blood suspended in his face, 
And paws that could not find their place, 

* Mr. John Festin. a mnsick-master, was the intended hero of 1/ 
*artb's celebrated piece. " The Enraged Musician." 



448 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 197 



f|i 



The champion played : while every peal confessed 
How strong the throes that heaved his massy chest. 

Next came a brawny nurse, but six feet high, 
With leathern lungs, and throat of brass supplied ; 

Striving with " Chevy Chase" and u Lullaby," 
To drown the screeching infant at her side. 
And ever and anon the babe she seized, 
And squeezed, and sung, and sung, and squeezed ; 
Although sometimes, each dreary pause between, 
The strangled infant's piercing shrieks, 
And writhing limbs, and blackening cheeks, 
Full well confessed the secret pin, 
That keenly goaded him within — 
Yet closer squeezed the nurse, and louder was her diiu 

A wheezing sawyer, standing by, 
Industriously was sawing wood ; 

Though dull his saw, his throat though dry, 
A while he used them as he could. 
At length, grown tired of toil in vain, 
The wretch resolved to change his strain ; 
"With fell intent, defying nature's law, 
He paused, and held his breath— ro whet his saw. — 
With eyes half-closed, and raised to heaven, 
And starting teeth from sockets driven, 
And clenching jaws, convulsed with ghastly smile, 
Across the wiry edge he drew the screaking file, 

A boy came next, loud whooping to the gale, 
And on his truant shoulders bore a pole : 

Two furious cats, suspended by the tail, 
Were swinging cheek by jole. 
O dulcet cats, thus hung at leisure, 
•What was your delighted measure I 
Entangled in no faint embrace, 
With claws deep buried in each other's face, 
How did ye hiss and spit your venom round, 
With murderous yell of more than earthly sound I 
O dulcet cats . could one more pair, like you, 
The c -ncert join, and pour the strain anew, 
Not man could bear, nor demon's ear sustain 
The fiendish caterwaul of rage and pain. 

A fish cart next came rattling by ; 
Its lusty driver, perched on high, 






Lesson 197.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 440 

Recruited by his recent bowl, 

Poured through the deafening horn his greedy soul. 

Such notes he blew as erst threw down 

Old Jericho's substantial town ; 

While scarce was heard, so loud he wound his peal, 

The mangled cur that yelped beneath his wheel. 

Then came a child eloped from home, 
Pleased, in the streets at large to roam ; 
His cart, behind he dragged ; — before, 
A huge tin coffee-pot he bore, 
Which, ever and anon, he beat 
With sticks and stones in furious heat: 
Nor heeded he that at his heels 
The crier rung his frequent peals. 
With brazen throat, and hideous yell, 
That distanced all the hounds of hell, 
In air his stunning bell he tossed, 
And swelled, and shouted " lost ! — lost ! — lost I" 

Emblem of justice, high above, 
A ponderous pair of steelyards hung ; — 

Hooked by the nose, his weight to prove, 
A living hog beneath was swung* 
Dire was the squeal that rent the sky, 
With sounds too dread for earthly throat ; 
While not a butcher lintrered ni^h 
To stop the howling monster's note. 
Fast, to escape the hated -strain, 
With ears comprest, some lied amain, 
While others paused, all hopeless of relief, 
And cursed the stars that had not made them deaf. 

Thus, long ago, 
Ere Colin* drew his fiddle bow, 
While saw-mills yet were mute ; 
The jarring, howling, deafening choir, 
With notes combined in concert dire, 
Could shake the sky, the solid earth could move, 
While milder thunders burst unheard above. 

* The real name of the resolute musician, whose instrument su2- 
g«6ted the idea of the ahove concert, is concealed by the poet — in Ira 
regard for the feelings of that votary of Apollo — under the name of 
one of the characters in Pope's second Pastoral. 

38* 



450 THE AMERICAN [Le*,on 198 



LESSON CXCVIJI. 

The Street-scene between Brutus and Cassius. — Frowi the 
Tragedy of Julius Ccesar. — Shakspeare. 

Cassias. Will you go see the order of the course ? 

Brutus. Not I. 

Cas. I pray you, do. 

Bi*u. I am not gamesome ; I do lack some part 
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony ; 
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires ; 
I'll leave vou. 

Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late ; 
I have not from your eyes that gentleness, 
And show of love, as I was wont to have : 
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand 
Over your friend that loves you. 

Bru. Cassius, 
Be not deceived ; if I have veiled my look, 
I turn the trouble of my countenance 
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am, 
Of late, with passions of some difference, 
Conceptions only proper to myself, 
Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviours : 
But let not therefore my good friends be grieved ; 
Among which number, Cassius, be you one ; 
Nor construe any further my neglect, 
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, 
Forgets the shows of love to other men. 

Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion , 
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried 
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations. 
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face ? 

JBru. No, Cassius ; for the eye sees not itself, 
But by reflection by some other things. 

Cas. 'Tis just : 
And it is very much lamented, Brutus, 
That you have no such mirrors as will turn 
Your hidden worthiness into your eye, 
That you might see your shadow. I have heard, 
Where many of the best respect in Rome, 
(Except immortal Caesar,) speaking of BrutUs, 
And groaning underneath this age's yoke, 
Have wish'd that n^ble Brutus had his eyes. 



Lesson 1987j FIRST CLASS BOOK. 451 

Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius, 
That you would have me seek into myself 
For that which is not in me 1 

Cos. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear : 
And since you know you cannot see yourself 
So well as by reflection, I, your glass, 
Will modestly discover to yourself 
That of yourself which you yet know not of. 
And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus: 
Were I a common laugher, or did use 
To stale with ordinary oaths my lore 
To every new protestor ; if you know 
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard, 
And after scandal them ; or if you know 
That I profess myself in banqueting 
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous. 

Bru. What means this shouting 1 I do fear, the people 
Choose Caesar for their king. 

Cos, Ay, do you fear it ? 
Then must I think you would not have it so. 

Bru. I would not, Cassius ; yet I love him well : — 
But wherefore do you hold me here so long ] 
What is it that you would impart to me 1 
If it be aught toward the general good, 
Set honour in one eye, and death in the other, 
And I will look on both indifferently : 
For, let the gods so speed me, as I love 
The name of honour more than I fear death. 

Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, 
As well as I do know your outward favour. 

Well, honour is the subject of my story. 

[ cannot tell what you and other men 

Think of this life ; but, for my single self, 

I had as lief not be, as live to be 

In awe of such a thing as I myself. 

I was born free as Caesar : so were you : 

We both have fed as well ; and we can both 

Endure the winter's cold as well as he. 

For once, upon a raw and gusty day, 

The troubled Tyber charing with his shores, 

Caesar says to me, Darest thou, Cassius, now 

Leap in with me into this angry flood, 

And swim to yonder point ? — Upon the word 

Accoutred as I was, I plunged in, 



452 THE AMERICAN p^ssm 19a 

And bade him follow : so, indeed, lie did. 

The torrent roared, and we did buffet it 

With lusty sinews ; throwing 1 it aside, 

And stemming it with hearts of controversy. 

But ere we could arrive the point proposed, 

Caesar cried, Help me, Cassias, or I sink. 

I, as iEneas, our great ancestor, 

Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder 

The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tyber 

Did I the- tired Caesar : and this man 

Is now become a god ; and Cassius is 

A wretched creature, and must bend his body, 

If Caesar carelessly but nod on him. 

He had a fever when he was in Spain, 

And, when the fit was on him, I did mark 

How he did shake. 'Tis true, this god did shake : 

His coward lips did from their colour fly; 

And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world, 

Did lose its lustre : I did hear him groan : 

Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans 

Mark him, and write his speeches in their books, 

Alas ! it cried — Give me some drink, Titinius — 

As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me, 

A man of such a feeble temper should 

So get the start of the majestick world, 

And bear the palm alone. 

Bru. Another general shout ! 
I do believe that these applauses are 
For some new honours that are heaped on Csesar. 

Cas. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world 
Like a Colossus : and we petty men 
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about 
To find ourselves dishonourable graves. 
Men at sometimes are masters of their fates : 
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, 
But in ourselves, that we are underlings. 
Brutus — and Csesar — what should be in that Csesar 1 
Why should that name be sounded, more than your's 1 
Write them together ; yours is as fair a name : 
Sound them ; it doth become the mouth as well : 
Weigh them ; it is as heavy : conjure with 'em ; 
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar. 
Now, in the names of all the gods at once, 
Upon what meats does this our Caesar feed, 






Lesson 199.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 453 

That he is grown so great ? Age, thou art shamed : 
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods ! 
When went there by an age, since the great flood, 
But it was famed with more than with one man 1 
When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome, 
That her wide walks encompassed but one man I 

! you and I have heard our fathers say, 
There was a Brutus once, that would have brooked 
The eternal devil, to keep his state in Rome, 
As easily as a king. 

JBru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous : 
What you would work me to, I have some aim : 
How I have thought of this, and of these times, 

1 shall recount hereafter : for this present, 
I would not, so with love I might entreat you, 
Be any further moved. What you have said, 
I will consider ; what you have to say, 
I will with patience hear, and find a time 
Both meet to hear, and answer, such high things. 
*Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this ; 
Brutus had rather be a villager, 
Than to repute himself a son nfl?omo 
Under such hard conditions as this time 
Is like to lay upon us. 

Cas. I am glad that my weak words 
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus. 






LESSON CXCIX. 

Address of Brutus to the Romans, justifying Ms assassination 

of Ccesar.-—liMJ>, 

Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my cause ; 
and be silent that you may hear. Believe me for mine 
honour ; and have respect to mine honour, that you may 
believe. Censure me in your wisdom ; and awake your 
senses, that you may the better judge. — If there be any in 
this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him, I say, that 
Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If, then, that 
friend demand why Brutus rose against Cmsar, this is my 
answer : Not that I loved Caesar less, but that. I loved Rome 
more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all 
slaves ; than that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen ? As 
Coesar loved me, I weep for him ; as he was fortunate, I re 






454 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 200 

joice at it ; as he was valiant, I honour him ; but as he was 
ambitious, I slew him. There are tears, for his love ; joy, 
for his fortune ; honour, for his valour ; and death, for his 
ambition. — Who's here so base that would be a bondman ? 
if any, speak ; for him have I offended. Who's here so rude, 
that would not be a Roman ? if any, speak ; for him have I 
offended. Who's here so vile, that will not love his coun- 
try 1 if any, speak ; for him have I offended. — I pause for a 
reply 

None ! Then none have I offended. — I have done no more 
to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his 
death is enrolled in the capitol ; his glory not extenuated, 
wherein he was w T orthy ; nor his offences enforced, for 
which he suffered death. 

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony ; wJk>, 
though he had no hand in his death, shall receive — the ben- 
efit of his dying — a place in the commonwealth ; as which 
of you shall not ? — With this I depart ; that, as I slew my 
best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger 
for myself, wjieu it shall please xtxy country to need my 
death. 



LESSON CC. 

Antony's Address to the Romans, exciting them to revenge the 

death of Ccesar. — -Ibid. 

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: 
I come to bury Ca3sar, not to praise him. 
The evil, that men do, lives after them ; 
The good is oft interred with their bones : 
So let it be wi f h Ciesar ! The noble Brutus 
Hath told you, Caesar was ambitious. 
If it were so, it was a grievous fault : — 
And grievously hath Caesar answered it. 
Here, under leave of Brutus, and the rest, 

For Brutus is an honourable man, 

>o are they all. all honourable men ;) 

Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral. 

He was my friend, faithful and just to me : 
But Brutus says he was ambitious ; 
And Brutus is an honourable man. 
He hath brought many captives home to Rome, 
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill : 



Lesson 200.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 455 

Did this in Caesar seem ambitious 1 
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: 
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. 
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious ; 
And Brutus is an honourable man. 
You all did see, that, on the Lupercal, 
I thrice presented him a kingly crown ; 
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition t 
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious ; 
And sure, he is an honourable man. 
[ speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke ; 
But here I am to speak what I do know. 
You all did love him once, not without cause : 
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him 1 
O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts, 
And men have lost their reason. — Bear with me : 
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar ; 
And I must pause till it come back to me. 
But yesterday the word of Caesar might 
Have stood against the world : now lies he there, 
And none so poor to do him reverence. 

Masters ! If I were disposed to stir 
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, 

1 should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, 
Who, you all know, are honourable men. 

I will not do them wrong — I rather choose 

To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, 

Than I will wrong such honourable men. 

But here's a parchment, with the seal of Caesar ; 

I found it in his closet : 'tis his will. 

Let but the commons hear this testament, 

(Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,) 

And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds f 

And dip their napkins in his sacred blood — 

Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, 

And, dying, mention it within their wills, 

Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy, 

Unto their issue. 

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. 
You all do know this mantle : I remember 
The, first time ever Caesar put it on ; 
'Twas on a summer's evening in his tent : 
That day he overcame the Nervii : — 
Look ! In this place, ran Cassius' dagger through 



* 



456 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 200 

See, what a rent the envious Casca made — 

Through this, the well beloved Brutus stabbed ; 

And, as he plucked his cursed steel away, 

Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it ! — 

This was the most unkindest* cut of all ! 

For, when the noble Caesar saw him stab, 

Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms, 

Quite vanquished him ! Then burst his mighty heart : 

And, in his mantle muffling up his face, 

Even at the base of Pompey's statua,t 

Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell. 

what a fall was there, my countrymen ! 
Then I, and you, and all of us, fell down ; 
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us. 
O, now you weep ; and I perceive you feel 
The dint of pity : — these are gracious drops. 

Kind souls ! What, weep you when you but behold 
Our Caesar's vesture wounded 1 Look ye here ! — 
Here is himself — marred, as you see, by traitors. 

Good friends ! sweet friends ! Let me not stir you up 
To such a sudden flood of mutiny ! 
They that have done this deed are honourable ! 
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not, 
That made them do it ! They are wise and honourable. 
And will, no doubt, with reason answer you. 

1 come not, friends, to steal away your hearts ! 
I am no orator, as Brutus is ; 
But, as you know me all, a plain, blunt man, 
That love my friend — and that they know full well, 
That gave me publick leave to speak of him ! 
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, 
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, 
To stir men's blood : — I only speak right on : 
I tell you that which you yourselves do know — 
Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor, poor, dumb mouths, 
And bid them speak for me. But, were I Brutus, 
And Brutus Antony, .there were an Antony 
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue 
In every wound of Caesar, that should move 
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny. 

* This douMe superlative, like " the most straitest sect of our reli- 
gion," (Acts xxv i. 5.) was tolerated by the best English writers, two or 
three centuries ago. 

t Statua for statue, is common among the old writers. 



Lesson 201.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 157 

LESSON CCI. 

The Tent-scene between Brutus and Cassius. — Ibid. 

Cassius. That you have wronged me, doth appear in this: 
You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella, 
For taking bribes here of the Sardians ; 
Wherein, my letters (praying on his side, 
Because I knew the man) were slighted off. 

Brutus. You wronged yourself, to write in such a case. 

Cas. At such a time as this, is it not meet 
That every nice offence should bear its comment ? 

Bru. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself 
Are much condemned to have an itching palm i 
To sell and mart your offices for gold, 
To undeservers. 

Cas. I an itching palm f 
You know that you are Brutus that speak this, 
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last. 

Bru. The name of Cassius honours this corruption, 
And chastisement doth therefore hide its head. 

Cas. Chastisement ! 

Bru. Remember March, the ides of March remember ! 
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake ? 
What villain touched, his body, that did stab, 
And not for justice 1 — What, shall one of us, 
That struck the foremost man of all this world, 
But for supporting robbers;: — shall we now 
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes ? 
And sell the mighty space of our large honours, 
For so much trash as may be grasped thus 1 — 
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon, 
Than such a Roman. 

Cas. Brutus, bay not me : 
I'll not endure it. You forget yourself, 
To hedge me in : I am a soldier, I, 
Older in practice, abler than yourself 
To make conditions. 

Bru. Go to ! you're not, Cassius. 

Cas. I am. 

Bru. I say you are not. 

Cas. Urge me no more : I shall forget myself : 
Have mind upon your health : tempt me no further. 

Bru. Awav, slight man ! 

Cas. Is't possible ! 
39 



458 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 201 

Bru. Hear me, for I will speak. 
Must I give way and room to your rash choler t 
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares 1 

Cas. Must I endure all this ! 

Bi*u. All this ! Ay, more. Fret till your proud heart break: 
Go, show your slaves how cholerick you are, 
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge 1 
Must I observe you ? Must I stand and crouch 
Under your testy humour ! 
You shall digest the venom of your spleen, 
Though it do split you ; for, from this day forth, 
I'll use you for my mirth ; yea, for my laughter, 
When you are waspish. 

Cas. Is it come to this ? 

Bru. You say you are a better soldier ; 
Let it appear so ; make your vaunting true, 
And it shall please me well. For mine own part, 
I shall be glad to learn of noble men. 

Cas. You wrong me every way ; you wrong me, Brutus ; 
I said an elder soldier, not a better. 
Did I say better 1 

Bru. If you did, I care not. 

Cas. When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved me. 

Bru. Peace, peace ; you durst not so have tempted him. 

Cas. I durst not ! 

Bru. No. 

Cas. What 1 durst not tempt him ? 

Bru. For your life you durst not. 

Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love. 
I may do that I shall be sorry for. 

Bru. You have done that you should be sorry for. 
There is no terrour, Cassius, in your threats ; 
For I am armed so strong in honesty, 
That they pass by me as the idle wind, 
Which I respect not. I did send to you j 
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me : — 
I had rather coin my heart, 

And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring 
From the hard hands of peasants, their vile trash, 
By any indirection. I did send 
To you for gold to pay my legions ; 
Which you denied me. Was that done like Cassius f 
Should I have answered Caius Cassius so ? 
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous, 



Lesson 201.] FIRST CLASS BOOK. 459 

To lock such rascal counters from his friends, 
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts, 
Dash him in pieces. 

Cas. I denied you not. 

Bru. You did. 

Cas. I did not : he was but a fool 
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart, 
A friend should bear a friend's infirmities ; 
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are. 

Bru. I do not, till you practise them on me. 

Cas. You love me not. 

Bru. I do not like your faults. 

Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults. 

Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they do appear 
As huge as high Olympus. 

Cas. Come Antony i and young Octavius, come ! 
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius : 
For Cassius is a-weary of the world — 
Hated by one he loves ; braved by his brother ; 
Checked like a bondman ; all his faults observed, 
Set in a note-book, learned and conned, by rote, 
To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep 
My spirit from my eyes ! — There is my dagger, 
And here my naked breast — within, a heart 
Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold ; 
If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth : 
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart. 
Strike as thou didst at Ceesar ; for I know, 
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better 
Than ever thou lovedst Cassius. 

Bru. Sheath your dagger : 
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope : 
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour. 
O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb, 
That carries anger, as the flint bears fire ; 
Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark, 
And straight is cold again. 

Cas. Hath Cassius lived 
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus, 
When grief and blood ill-tempered vexeth him? 

Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too. 

Cas. Do you confess so much ? Give me your hand. 

Bru. And my heart too. — 

Cas. O Brutus ! 



4(50 THE AMERICAN [Lesson 202 

Bru. What's the matter ? 

Gas. Have you not love enough to bear with me, 
When that rash humour which my mother gave me, 
Makes me forgetful 1 

Bru. Yes, Cassius ; and henceforth, 
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus, 
He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so. 



LESSON CCIL 

Description of the Castle of Indolence, and its inhabitants. — 

Thomson.* 

Ye gods of quiet, and of sleep profound ! 

Whose soft dominion o'er this castle sways, 
And all the widely-silent places round, 

Forgive me, if my trembling pen displays 

What never yet was sung in mortal lays. 
But how shall I attempt such arduous string, 

I, who have spent my nights and nightly days 
In this soul-deadening place, loose-loitering 1 
Ah ! how shall I for this uprear my moulted wing ? 

The doors, that knew no shrill alarming bell, 
Net cursed knocker plied by villain's hand, 

Self-opened into halls, where, who can tell 
What elegance and grandeur wide expand, 
The pride of Turkey and of Persia land ? 

Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets spread, 
And couches stretched around in seemly band, 

And endless pillows rise to prop the head ; 
So that each spacious room was one full-swelling bed. 

And every where huge covered tables stood, 

With wines high flavoured and rich viands crowned ; 

Whatever sprightly juice or tasteful food 

On the green bosom of this Earth are found, 
And all old Ocean genders in his round : 

Some hand unseen these silently displayed, 
Even un demanded by a sign or sound ; 

You need but wish, and, instantly obeyed, 
Fair ranged the dishes r